POSTED: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 3:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 3:34pm
CONSUMER ALERT — A new study finds the food given to poultry contains banned antibiotics, arsenic and common drugs like Benadryl and Prozac.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University studied twelve samples of feather meal. Feather meal is an ingredient in many fertilizers and animal feed that is made from bird feathers. Feathers are known to accumulate chemicals and drugs animals are exposed to.
Lab tests revealed eight of the twelve samples contained Fluoroquinolones, a popular class of antibiotics that were banned from use in poultry in 2005 because they could lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.
The tests also detected arsenic, which can reduce infections in poultry, Benadryl and Prozac, which are sometimes given to chickens to reduce anxiety, and caffeine, which may help chickens stay awake longer so they can eat.
The researchers say nothing they found poses an immediate threat to human health and it is impossible to know from this study whether all these chemicals reach our plate.
So far the national poultry and egg association has not responded.