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Consumer Reports statement on withdraw of last poultry arsenical drug

April 3, 2015

Consumer Reports Statement on Withdraw of Last Poultry Arsenical Drug

Consumer Reports praised the announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that by the fall of 2015, Zoetis will suspend sale of Histotstat (nitarsone), the only remaining arsenic-based animal drug currently approved for use in food animals to prevent disease, and that the FDA will withdraw approval for the drug. The move is a big victory for consumers.
“Because poultry won’t be fed arsenic, a known carcinogen, the spread of arsenic into the food supply will be curtailed. Poultry manure used for fertilizer will contain less arsenic and won’t contribute to contamination of crops and the environment,” said Urvashi Rangan, Executive Director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center.

More than 100 arsenic-based veterinary drugs have been withdrawn from the market in the past few years. Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center first warned of the dangers of arsenic in the fall of 2011 with its testing and risk analysis of arsenic in apple juice.

Since then, the Center has done multiple tests and analysis of arsenic in food and has consistently called for the ban of arsenic in pesticides, animal-feed additives, and fertilizers. The Center is also advocating that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phase out the use of arsenical pesticides and for the FDA to finalize its risk assessment of rice.
For more information, please contact:

Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D.
Director, Consumer Safety and Sustainability
Consumer Reports
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10703