Arsenic in our food? Keltruth looks at the frightening reality of what we eat…

Does Barbados allow the addition of arsenic to chicken feed?

While surfing the net yesterday I came across the latest from Keltruth Blog…

“Most chicken growers in the US add arsenic to the feed. One such additive is the antibiotic arsenic compound roxarsone. Arsenic additives are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but have been banned in the European Union since 1999. The FDA has been petitioned to ban arsenic, but as far as I know has not acted.”

… from Keltruth Blog’s article Are Most Americans Consuming Meat Laced with a Deadly Poison?

Yikes! I’ve heard all kinds of stories about the food we eat, but never anything about the deliberate introduction of the deadly poison arsenic into our foods. Whatever for? Aren’t there any alternatives available?

The Keltruth article sources many reports and incidents of poisoning and it makes me wonder if arsenic is added to the chicken feed made in Barbados. Strangely enough, one of the people who might know the answer to that question is none other than our Supervisor of Insurance,  Carlos Belgrave.

Prior to being appointed to his regulatory position, (current Barbados Supervisor of Insurance) Carlos Belgrave was the General Manager of a local company that manufactures “flour, animal and poultry feeds” … according to OffshoreAlert’s 2006 “Worst Regulator” Award.

I’m not even sure that we have any regulations or standards about food additives in Barbados, let alone proper oversight of manufacturing.

For small island societies there comes a point where we have to rely upon larger countries to set standards in many areas because we don’t have the knowledge or the financial wherewithal to do so ourselves. But sometimes this reliance translates into apathy or inaction in some areas where we can and should be taking an interest ourselves.

The other side of the coin is that as a smaller island society we might be able to set and enforce some standards better than larger countries because we have fewer entry points for substandard products to come into the country.

Something to think about as you read the very disturbing article at Keltruth… over your morning eggs!


Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Consumer Issues, Health

13 responses to “Arsenic in our food? Keltruth looks at the frightening reality of what we eat…

  1. Polluted Barbados?

    Some 6 or 7 years ago the NATION carried a disturbing article
    exposing the fact that we have ATRAZINE in our water supply.
    I forget how many parts-per-million or whatever..

    Atrazine is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s ROUND-UP herbicide
    and makes its way into the groundwater supply a few weeks/months later.
    How much of this stuff are our body cells accumulating?
    Does it break down eventually? or does the liver handle it?

    Now .. arsenic in the chicken. Great!
    I done tell my wife that I would be happy to give up on chicken
    because we don’t know what the fowls are being fed
    or what disgusting conditions they’re being reared in.

    And we wonder why we have high rates of cancer on this island?

  2. reality check

    I knew that most most water samples contain some arsenic in them even in low levels.

    I was not aware that chicken producers were adding it in feed. It would be interesting to know why they would do this and what the cost benefit might be given the unkown and long term risk?

    Don’t forget all the estrogen mimicing additives we are adding to our food supply each year

    Male sperm count has been seriously declining over the past 20 years and some tributraies in Europe have male fish converting to female fish

    Soon men will be shopping for at Cave Shepherd for bras

  3. John

    These are some of the chemicals found in the water in the swamp.

    4,4′-DDD 0.50 U 0.50 3.3
    4,4′-DDE 0.50 U 0.50 3.3
    4,4′-DDT 0.50 U 0.50 3.3
    Aldrin 0.50 U 0.50 2.0
    alpha-BHC 0.14 U 0.14 1.7
    beta-BHC 0.50 U 0.50 2.0
    Chlordane (technical) 2.4 U 2.4 17
    delta-BHC 0.50 U 0.50 2.0
    Dieldrin 0.15 U 0.15 1.7
    Endosulfan I 0.25 U 0.25 2.0
    Endosulfan II 0.25 U 0.25 3.3
    Endosulfan sulfate 0.25 U 0.25 3.3
    Endrin 0.50 U 0.50 4.0
    Endrin ketone 0.50 U 0.50 4.0
    gamma-BHC (Lindane) 0.50 U 0.50 2.0
    Heptachlor 0.50 U 0.50 2.0
    Heptachlor epoxide 0.14 U 0.14 2.0
    Methoxychlor 1.0 U 1.0 17

  4. HomeGrown

    Posting the above without a thorough look at what the chemicals are, what sources they may be derived from, etc is just being alarmist.

    Now all I will say about our drinking water supply is that the insistence that it is 100% secure is utter foolishness. Stop and think about it. can anyone say with 100% certainty that no contaminants be they via pesticides, illegal dumping, etc. are not making there way into the various aquifers that supply our water.

    On top of that the BWA is in a shambles.

    Our farmers, the few that remain, have not been imparted with any other options other than harmful pesticides like Roundup. Have you ever seen pesticides being sprayed on the perimeter of the cane fields in the Belle?

    Two years ago I was the winner of the kitchen gardening competition at AgroFest. 1st prize included a massive bag of fertilizer from Agro-Chem, I believe it was, as a prominent Senator *handed* it to me I handed it right back. I would have accepted a Black Belly sheep before accepting that crap for my home garden. Chemical based pesticides and fertilizers have no place in the home garden.

    Organics is big business, yet Barbados is in the dark ages. Why???

  5. Polluted Barbados?

    Happy to know that Aldrin DDT and Dieldrin included in John’s list of entirely-natural chemicals are merely alarmist.

    I don’t think I give a rodent’s rectum as to their source
    I just know they are present
    and that’s good enough for me.

  6. HomeGrown

    Well Mr.Polluted Barbados I hope you haven’t eaten any canned food this week, specifically those with white inner linings:

  7. Polluted Barbados?

    In that case we’re all in deep doo-doo! LOL!
    See you at Coral Ridge, den?

  8. HomeGrown

    That was my only point…we are being bombarded. And the kicker with the cans that is you have to either a) buy the item and open it to see how the inside is treated, or b) research online to find the brands that don’t have it. I have tried both and still can’t seem to predict what will be inside when I get it home.

  9. John

    DDT was used in Barbados as it was all over the world in the past to combat mosquitoes.

    Google DDT and check wikipedia.

    Then google FLIT and you will realise DDT was used routinely in the home!!

    Its presence in the swamp today is because of this and because of its long half life. Traces will be found for many years to come.

    Not much imagination is required to realise if it is present in the swamp, it is probably present in our underground aquifers.

    I remember in the early 70’s when Aldrin and Dieldrin were routinely used as agricultural chemicals.

    I read in the Stanley Associates Report of 1978 on the water resources of Barbados that both had been banned.

    Their presence in the results from the swamp is probably as a result of use in the early 1970’s, like DDT.

    There is a Pesticide Control Board to which any chemical must be submitted for approval before importation into Barbados.

  10. Green Monkey

    [b]Animals II, Chicken, Rabbits and Fish[/b]
    By John Micael Greer, The Archdruid Report


    ………… I’ve commented before that if an evil genius set out to design the worst possible way of producing food, his most diabolical contrivances would have a hard time competing with the way we grow food in America today. The animals we raise for human food in this country come out of millions of years of evolution that has fitted them to eat foods that human beings don’t, and turn them into foodstuffs like those that human beings evolved to eat. Do we feed them their proper foods by putting cows out to pasture, say, or letting chickens scratch for insects and vegetable scraps? Of course not.

    Instead, we feed them on grains that could just as well be food for human beings, laced with chemicals and drugs, and “enriched” as often as not with the ground-up bodies of other animals that have been discarded as unfit for human consumption. We do this, mind you, in vast energy-wasting warehouse facilities so overcrowded and poorly managed that the manure, which would otherwise be a valuable resource for improving soil fertility, becomes a massive problem – and of course nobody would think of dealing with that problem by any means as sensible as industrial-scale composting. Meanwhile the meat, milk, eggs, and other products of this system are a sickly parody of the equivalents that can be gotten from healthy animals fed their natural foods in sanitary and humane conditions.

    Plenty of people who object to the appalling conditions and ecological cost of factory farming have responded by swearing off animal foods altogether. This is certainly a choice, but it’s far from the only option, and some of the arguments that have been marshalled in defense of it simply won’t hold water. Those of my readers who find that a vegetarian or vegan diet suits them should certainly feel free to continue their herbivorous ways, but not everyone finds such diets appropriate to their needs, and those who find a place for animal products on their dinner tables are part of a long hominid tradition; our australopithecine ancestors ate meat, as indeed chimpanzees do today, and it may be worth noting that no surviving or recorded preindustrial culture anywhere on Earth has had a traditional diet that does entirely without animal products.

    It’s important to remember, also, that there’s a middle ground between eating the products of industrial factory farming, on the one hand, and abandoning animal foods altogether. One way to pursue that middle ground is to buy animal products from local organic ranchers and growers whose operations are open to visits by consumers. Another, though, involves a glance back toward the household economies of an earlier time, when a henhouse in the back garden was as much a part of most urban households as a stove in the kitchen and a roof overhead.

  11. Green Monkey

    As a matter of interest, I just noticed the following comment to the above blog at the Archdruidreport web site by user Houyhnhnm :

    Another small livestock breed I recommend is Barbados Blackbelly Sheep. I’m allergic to wool, so I’d given up all hope of owning sheep until I ran into a local breeder. Barbados Blackbellies are hair sheep, not wool sheep. The meat is also leaner than typical lamb. The local breeder’s website gives some good background on this rare breed:

  12. Arsenic is poison! Look at we are eating and feeding our children! Something definitely has to be done about this!