Meds and Banned Antibiotics Routinely Fed to Chickens

According to a new study, questionable substances and chemicals are being used in chicken feed.


Recently, a study from the University of Maryland determined that alarming levels of arsenic were found in chicken feed, but new data suggests that arsenic isn’t the only potentially hazardous substance present. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University have discovered that birds are also routinely fed illegal antibiotics, caffeine, and even chemical compounds found in common medications. Testing feather meal from factory-farm chickens, scientists found traces of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, which are banned in poultry production due to their potential to breed antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Furthermore, researchers found evidence of the active ingredients in Benadryl, Tylenol, and even Prozac, found in Chinese chicken meal—all of which may be used to reduce anxiety among chicken, as stress toughens the birds’ meat and inhibits their growth.

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