As a former farmer, I was interested to read that US Representative Steve Israel (D.-N.Y.) is taking a stance against injecting poultry with what he considers “poison.”

As reported by The Los Angeles Times, Representative Israel is reminding consumers that turkeys, soon to be consumed by millions during the coming Holiday season, may contain poison.

The problem is that poultry producers may use a food additive called “roxarsone” which helps young chicks grow and keeps parasites off the young birds. However, “roxarsone” is a derivative of arsenic. Low levels of arsenic can cause symptoms such as nausea and vomiting among other health issues.

The FDA has however stated that ingesting arsenic contained in poultry muscle is safe at low levels. Representative Israel is not convinced and has introduced the “Poison Free Poultry Act of 2009 (H.R. 3624).”

Hate to be a “downer” by writing about this subject the day before Thanksgiving. This author, even with the above having been said, will be enjoying turkey this Holiday season but certainly sees the need for Representative Israel’s initiative to keep our food safe and healthy.

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