Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

The use of arsenic and agriculture

It's possible that in farming communities across the state of Pennsylvania, arsenic may still be used in pesticides that are applied in fields, and that arsenic has possibly infiltrated the soil. This infiltration may have resulted in contamination of fruit juices, rice products, and even drinking water.

An arsenic compound known as MMSA appears to be still legally applied to crops that are being grown. It is thought that arsenic came in due to pigweed being resistant to so many other herbicides currently being used.

Arsenic laced feed and drugs have also been claimed to have been used for turkeys and chickens to fend off possible disease. Of possibly greater concern than meat from chickens or turkeys carrying traces of arsenic is that the poultry manure may be used as fertilizer. The arsenic levels in the manure purportedly can come in high concentrations.

This matter certainly deserves study. It is not known whether the arsenic levels being used are high enough to cause humans any problems. The risks simply are not yet known.

At the same time, it is essential that the problem be studied before corporations market these products without testing for possible harm to human beings. Though there may not be a definitive study concerning the problems of using arsenic in various products, there does seem to be a number of studies suggesting a link to various health problems.

Products liability lawsuits brought by lawyers often reveal whether corporations did or did not properly test a product before selling in stores. Theories of strict liability in cases place this burden upon the corporations in the event that an injury is alleged.

Source: Huffington Post, "Arsenic In Agriculture Enjoys Comeback In Poultry Feed, Pesticides," by Lynne Peeples, Oct. 22, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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