What do you guys think?
without reading the articles, i'd guess trace amounts. kind of like the 66 deady gases released by smoking cigarettes (cyanide, carbon monoxide, etc.) i'm not saying it's healthy by any means, just something that would take years to accumulate to a recognizably fatal dose.
the FDA and whatever other governing agencies have been hideously lax for decades about cattle and poultry feed, so that doesn't surprise me a bit. arsenic probably isn't the worst thing to be concerned about though.
It gets worse. After that she wrote about propylene glycol in pet foods! Thixton must have been as surprised as I was to see PG and arsenic listed.
It looks to me like chicken feces might get into pet food.
I feel that she might just thrive on being a bit of a rebel alarmist, sorta reeks of the EWG ( environmental working group.) I would have a lot more admiration for her watchdog alarms if she didn't charge for the findings. Information is a powerful weapon, it should be shared for non com gratis, JMO. She has brought attention to the pet food industry.
More about arsenic: It is one of many toxic heavy metals added in much higher amounts than the federal limit. Others include: uranium, mercury, lead, nickel, cadmium, thorium, and thalium. They are also found in human chicken, sardines, and tuna, but in much lower amounts. Dry is more dangerous than wet in the heavy metals department (no surprise) but wet food also has unacceptable amounts of them.
I had thought that arsenic had been prohibited from food since the 50s, at least in Canada.
What you don't know about arsenic: it was used in minute doses to treat anorexia in mammals (including humans) for decades. It was effective but accidental overdose was very common.
Susan Thixton wrote this about arsenic in the book Buyer Beware (pages 75-76):
Arsenic in Animal Food
This is one of those ridiculous but true stories. Arsenic, the deadly poison and known carcinogen, is an allowed ingredient in some animal feed.
The Alliance for Natural Health reports that last December (2010), the Center for Food Safety and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy filed a petition with the FDA asking for the removal of arsenic-containing compounds used in animal feeds. "Most arsenic -containing animal feed additives are not used to treat sickness. Instead, these additives are commonly used in poultry production the induce faster weight gain and give the meat a healthy-looking color; the same techniques are used to a lesser extent in turkeys and hogs."
In 2006, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy published a startling paper titled, "Playing Chicken, Avoiding Arsenic In Your Meat." While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) claims that none or very little of the arsenic put into chicken feed makes its way into the meat, this organization tested raw chicken purchased from supermarkets and fried chicken purchased from fast food chains. They found that most uncooked chicken products (55%) contained "detectable arsenic" and many fast food chickens "carried some detectable arsenic" as well. (This is a very fascinating and well-written report.)
There is no available information of arsenic levels in chicken meat used in pet foods. Because many pets eat chicken-based food and eat that food every day of their lives (unlike humans who might only consume chicken two or three times a week), this is a huge concern for pet owners. If a pet food does or does not contain arsenic depends on the chicken producer the pet food company purchases from. My guess would be few, if any, pet food companies test for arsenic levels in their chicken or chicken meal. However, again considering that many pets eat chicken-based pet food day in and day out for years, this should be a consideration for all concientious pet food companies. So if you pet food companies are listening out there, please test for arsenic levels and provide those test results on your website.
For pet owners who feed raw or home-cooked food with chicken to your pets, the above Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy paper lists the raw chicken companies they tested and levels of arsenic found.
On page 97, Thixton listed parts per billion of arsenic in pet and human foods:
As - Arsenic
Pet Food Average 95 ppb
Pet Food Max 290 ppb
Human Tuna - 14 ppb
Human Sardines - 30 ppb
Human Chicken - 4.4 ppb