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Legislature Passes Ban On Arsenic In Chicken Feed

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Chickens and other farm animals

Photo Credit: Amanda Rodriguez

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland is on its way to becoming the first state to ban an arsenic additive in chicken feed.

The House of Delegates on Saturday accepted state Senate amendments to a bill that bans roxarsone, a chemical used to help
the birds grow and fight parasites.

Pfizer Inc., the company that produces roxarsone, stopped selling the chemical in July after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study found higher levels of inorganic arsenic in chicken treated with roxarsone than in those that were not fed the chemical. Arsenic is a known carcinogen.

The bill was amended by the Senate to continue the use of a similar chemical used to treat turkeys.

Opponents of the bill have said it will cost Maryland jobs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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