Arsenic From Backyard Chicken Eggs? Yikes!

Brianne DiSylvester
5

I'm not much of an egg gal. And, after this recent Utah study, which links arsenic to backyard chicken eggs, I'll definitely take the pancakes, thanks.

Here are the dirty deets ...

The Utah Department of Health tracked high levels of arsenic in the urine of two kids -- it was found to be a result of their family backyard chicken coop.

Word is that an arsenic-based additive called Roxarsone is commonly used in chicken feed. When paired with antibiotics, it keeps the birds from getting sick and helps them grow bigger and faster. 

The downside? The arsenic in turn affects the eggs and the children who were eating them. (Like good little kids, they were eating about a dozen eggs a week.) The kids didn't show any signs of arsenic poisoning but their urine levels were twice the amount that the FDA deems toxic.

Raising chickens in the backyard (or on rooftops, like they do in New York City!) is a great way to get fresh and nutritious eggs. But it must be done safely ... Currently there is a bill called the Poison-Free Poultry Act that calls for a ban on Roxarsone. And the Center for Food Safety joined the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy to file a petition with the FDA to ban all arsenic-containing compounds.

Would you ever raise chickens in your backyard?


Images via WoodleyWonderWorks/Flickr

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