Maryland To Be First State To Ban Arsenic In Chicken Feed

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign a bill this week that would make Maryland the first state to ban an arsenic additive in chicken feed.

Last month, state lawmakers passed a bill banning the use of Roxarsone, a chemical used to help the birds grow and fight parasites.

Pfizer Inc., which distributes 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.

Opponents have said the measure isn’t needed because Pfizer Inc. voluntarily suspended sales of the chemical.

The law would take effect Jan. 1.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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