Thursday, April 2, 2015

U.S. bans arsenic for poultry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn approval for nitarsone, the last arsenic-based drug on the market used for food animals.

Health Canada banned arsenic in rations in August, 2011.

Nitarsone, marketed as Histostat by Zoetis Animal Health, is used to prevent blackhead disease, a significant cause of death in turkeys, but was also approved for chickens.

The drug will continue to be available for the 2015 season under a phase-out plan that allows producers to consider alternatives for managing the disease.

The National Turkey Federation said it was disappointed at the decision to withdraw approval of nitarsone, the only medication available to turkey growers to prevent histomoniasis, or blackhead disease.

“This decision will lead to additional suffering in flocks afflicted with the disease,” the group said.
Nitarsone has been found to convert to organic arsenic which is a known carcinogen.