Science behind arsenic in eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NurseDr, Jul 8, 2010.

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  1. NurseDr

    NurseDr Out Of The Brooder

    The recent articles about arsenic levels in children has created controversy. From the articles I, as a scientist, could not identify what were the cause or conclusions. This was poor journalism.

    Here is a link to the report that should reassure folks. Be an informed consumer.

    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/RoxarsoneinHenEggsinUtah/RoxarsoneinheneggsinUTahLHC05212010.pdf

    Conclusions and Recommendations
    The results of this sampling show that arsenic in eggs can transfer to humans through ingestion, resulting in an elevation of urine arsenic levels in individuals. Elevated arsenic levels can occur in the body if eggs are consumed at a higher rate than the arsenic can be eliminated from the system. This may harm people’s health, especially in children, as they are more susceptible to arsenic poisoning.
    With arsenic-containing products being added to a variety of commercially available chicken feeds, it is imperative that individuals raising chickens at home be aware of the potential arsenic pathway posed by these feeds. In order to ensure that eggs collected from home-raised hens are safe for consumption, the following precautions are recommended:
     Do not purchase chicken feed containing the arsenic compound roxarsone. Other commercial names for roxarsone include 4-Hydroxy-3-Nitrobenzenearsonic acid, roxarson and 2-Nitrophenol-4-arsonic acid;
     If currently using a feed with roxarsone as an additive, discontinue use of the feed and change to one that does not contain arsenic derivatives;
     Do not consume eggs from hens fed feed containing roxarsone;
     If adverse health conditions are observed that may be a manifestation of arsenic,
    please contact your family physician or a local Poison Control Center;  Once the feed has been changed, allow the hens a transition period (2-4 weeks)
    before eggs are consumed again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  2. coreySLC

    coreySLC New Egg

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    While I'm not suggesting the article you're referring to (SL Trib) was really well written, I don't think it's fair to cite it as irresponsible journalism - It think the real culprit here is the Utah Health Dept. report that you linked.

    The report does a pretty decent job at showing (1) The kids had elevated concentrations of arsenic in their bodies; (2) arsenic in the chicken feed and the eggs was well above risk-based screening levels; and (3) when the chickens were fed organic feed, arsenic concs. in the kids went back down to 'normal.' Again, these are the main points and the the report did a good job with them. I think the Trib article did ok, too.

    However, the UHD report went way out-of-bounds when they made the leap that the cause of the elevated arsenic levels in the kids, eggs, and, ultimately, the feed was roxarsone. It was this tid-bit that created all the controversy. While it is certainly a reasonable conclusion, because they never tested for it was an unfounded assumption. The report spent way too much time discussing roxarsone when they just should have left the report with the points I listed above.

    The real unfortunate thing is that the roxarsone issue became a sort of red herring that detracted from the main point of the article: the chicken feed from the local feed store had REALLY high concs of arsenic (regardless of the source) that was translating into high concs. in the kids.

    Sorry for the rant, I just couldn't bite my tongue on this issue anymore.
     
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    WHY is this being brought up AGAIN?
    They have closed several threads on this subject already.
     
  4. NurseDr

    NurseDr Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Because it is an issue that should be addressed, rather then stick your head in the sand.
     
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    I think they have established that they prefer that this forum is not the place for this topic to be debated.
     
  6. NurseDr

    NurseDr Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Discussion is good. The report does not say the type of feed that was being used. I read that the chickens were being fed a broiler mix. The food they were switched to I think was layer, but I will find out from the Scientist.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll post this again, for the second time today:

    * If a topic is closed or removed do not, under any circumstances, re-post the same topic or material. If you have any questions as to why a thread was closed or removed please contact a BackYardChickens staff member.

    Folks, this is a quote from the rules that you all agreed to upon joining BYC.​
     
  8. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey guys,

    Just an FYI on why we're closing these threads... The topic seems to be pretty contentious; threads where this is the topic have tended to go downhill into argument and have caused a lot of work for the Staff. Feel free to read the article, research its contents and discuss it with your BYC friends via PM, but we're going to keep it out of open forum for now.

    The Staff doesn't have an official position on the information in the article one way or another. We're just keeping the peace as far as discussion is concerned. [​IMG]

    Thanks for understanding. [​IMG]
     
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