“Chickens in the United States produced for meat are not given arsenic as an additive in chicken feed or any of the compounds or banned antibiotics claimed in the column,” said NCC President Mike Brown in a letter to the editor of the New York Times published Sunday, April 15, in response to a Nicholas D. Kristof opinion piece, “Arsenic in Our Chicken?.”

Brown points out that the two studies that Mr. Kristof cites emanate from the John Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, an organization that promotes the Meatless Monday campaign.

“Mr. Kristof doesn’t mention that arsenic occurs naturally and is widely present in both soil and water,” Brown continued.  “It is found in many foods we eat and the water we drink.”

“The study’s own authors say ‘there’s no evidence that such low levels of arsenic harm either chickens or the people eating them.’  These studies tested feathers, not meat. Consumers should know that the Agriculture Department tests all chicken meat for chemicals and antibiotic residues and inspects all chicken meat for wholesomeness before it enters the marketplace.”

Brown concluded, “When eating his next chicken sandwich, organic or not, Mr. Kristof can be confident that he’s not eating harmful arsenic, banned antibiotics or Tylenol.”