Maryland has become the first state in the US to ban an arsenic additive in poultry feed. A law banning the use of Roxarsone is among new state laws taking effect from January 1st 2013.
Pfizer, which distributes Roxarsone, a chemical used to help the birds grow and fight parasites, stopped selling the chemical in July after a US Food and Drug Administration study found higher levels of inorganic arsenic in chicken treated with the additive than those that were not. Arsenic is a known carcinogen.
Opponents however, said that the measure wasn’t needed because the company voluntarily suspended sales of the product.
The impact of the ban could be limited because industry leader Perdue Farms discontinued its use of Roxarsone in 2007, while the drug was withdrawn from the market last year by Pfizer.