Maryland Sen. Paul G. Pinsky and delegate Tom Hucker have introduced a bill into the state legislature that would ban arsenic-based drugs commonly used in the feed of commercial poultry operations.

Arsenic is found in chicken feed in the form of roxarsone, which is added to control coccidiosis and promote growth. Those against its use say that arsenic in chicken feed contaminates chicken meat and are concerned about arsenic infiltrating Maryland's groundwater through poultry waste.


Some growers, including Perdue, have stopped using arsenic, but others have fought similar bills, pointing out that arsenic's use has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.