Commercial chicken producers feeding banned substances.

Two recently published analyses of commercial chicken feather meal found caffeine, the active ingredient of Benadryl, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Prozac, banned antibiotics, and even arsenic (fed to many livestock to improve the appearance of the meat), suggesting that poultry on factory farms are commonly fed many substances they are not supposed to be.

Feather meal (used as, among other things, a soil amendment and a protein-rich feed ingredient for other livestock) was tested, as feathers (like hair) provide a historical record of what a bird ate while the feathers were growing.

While neither study looked at chicken meat, it is plausible that at least some of the compounds make it into the meat; and the use of banned antibiotics has serious implications in reference to dangerous antibiotic-resistant “super bugs,” which have been found in commercial chicken meat in previous studies.

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