Some poultry products in the US has been proven to be contaminated with cancer-causing drugs. Concerns over the safety of the chicken,some of which may have made its way to some South African stores, have been raised. This after the US food and medication regulation board, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), found that some of the chicken was contaminated with the animal drug 3-Nitro® (Roxarsone), which is arsenic-based and a known carcinogen.
Earlier this week, the Sowetan reported that this chicken will most likely be consumed by the poor. The poultry is said to be targeted at those in the lower-income bracket and will be more readily available at third-tier supermarkets.
South Africa recently signed a trade agreement to import 65 000 tonnes of chicken from the US per year. The Department of Trade and Industry said last year when the deal was reached that it was a good thing for South Africa because it would enable the country to be fully included in the African Growth Opportunities Act over the next ten years.
Social media has been buzzing as people have rushed to express their concerns over the potentially hazardous poultry products, which hit South African shelves on 15 March.
DESTINY took to the streets to find out if people who shop at third-tier supermarkets had any idea that this possibly hazardous chicken would be sold in SA stores.
Of the many we spoke to, few had any idea that there was a chance that the chicken they were buying might have originated from the US.
Some shoppers didn’t seem to mind too much. “I am not worried because everything causes cancer or some sort of disease. Sugar causes something, salt causes something, so we are all going to get sick,” said a harried mother who wanted to remain anonymous.
For some, a love of chicken and the low price that this poultry would sell for is too attractive to be a deterrent. Michael said he was not very concerned. “I really like chicken, do you mean to tell me that we must now stop buying chicken?” he asked.
Susan said that although she had seen something on Facebook about the US chicken, she questioned its truth.
“I should be (concerned) if it is unhealthy,” she said, adding that she could not believe that the government would willingly put people’s lives in danger. “It is nonsense, they really shouldn’t do that.”
Karabo said that he too had heard something about the poultry, but it seems that price was the first priority.
“For me, the concern is what price it’s going to be, how good it is, and how healthy it is,” he said, adding that it would be interesting to compare the taste of meat from the US to that from South Africa.
Additional reporting: Sowetan, FDA