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Is chicken giving you cancer?

Recently, mainstream media outlets like Mother Jones and MSN Health have asserted that chicken can or may be giving people cancer. Most of which is based on several new studies, the first of which regards a recent admission by the FDA that chicken meat sold in the USA contains arsenic, a toxic chemical that has been known to cause cancer for several decades.

It’s not the chickens that are the carcinogenic, but rather the arsenic comes from being added to the chicken feed intentionally, where it ends up in chicken meat consumed by humans. Until now, historically both the FDA and poultry industry denied that arsenic fed to chickens ended up in their meat. But it was only expected since Pfizer (Alpharma LLC) was the manufacturer of the chicken feed Roxarsone.

The second pertains to  new research  from New Zealand  that suggests that children raised on livestock farms have a greater risk of developing blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma later in life. The findings were based on the analysis of death certificates for more than 100,000 New Zealanders between the ages of 35 and 85, from 1998 and 2003, cross referencing cause of death with parents’ occupation. This is fine solid scientific research methodology. However, there was one major problem;  if the records revealed a dead person had a parent who was a farmer, the researchers assumed that meant the person grew up on a poultry farm.

Recently, the Pew Charitable Trusts compared antibiotic use on livestock farms and compared them to data on human use of antibiotics to treat illness, and revealed that the livestock industry in America consumes 80 percent  of all the antibiotics used in the U.S. It is very hard to say if chicken is giving or can give people cancer, especially given that the lifestyles and habits of African Americans include living in the most toxic areas in urban environments, and incessant consumption of alcohol, fast foods and soda.