New Study Reveals Increased Arsenic Levels in Chicken

Roxarsone is an arsenic-based drug that has been used for decades to treat parasitic diseases in chickens, speed up weight gain, and make the meat pinker.  Not much was known about the metabolism of this drug until a new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found levels of arsenic in chicken meat that exceeded amounts that occur naturally.  This is the first study to test chicken meat for the presence of inorganic arsenic, which could potentially lead to a small increase in the risk of certain types of cancer for consumers over a lifetime.

Agilent’s 7500ce (ICP-MS) connected to an 1100 HPLC allowed the researchers to measure inorganic arsenic, roxarsone, and other arsenic compounds in chicken.  The authors found that arsenic-based drugs for poultry production contribute to inorganic arsenic exposure in consumers of conventionally produced chickens. The study also found that eliminating the use of these drugs in food animal production could reduce the associated risks.

As the world leader in food testing technologies, Agilent is uniquely equipped to determine both the levels and the chemical forms of arsenic in complex matrices.

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Study Finds an Increase in Arsenic Levels in Chicken