Don’t Take Probiotics. Try Arsenic Instead!!

Can you believe this? The FDA says NO to Probiotics, but YES to arsenic? This kind of thing makes me really MAD!!!

Did you perhaps misread the title of my post?

No, you didn’t.

And it isn’t me who is giving you this advice.

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It is your government.

And what does this have to do with chickens?  Read on.

Basically, for a long time, but seemingly at a much more feverish pace over the past few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been in the news for

And at the same time, this same FDA is encouraging us to continue eating arsenic-laced chicken.

Yes, you heard right.

I could write a whole bunch about all of this, but I am going to try to just give you a summary and a link to the sources so you can go read them for yourself.  Hang on through the whole post.  It’s quite a ride!

First, if you want to see what else the FDA has been up to – see these posts:

What the FDA Says is Unsafe

1.  Elderberry Juice – The FDA seized elderberry juice from Wyldewood Cellars in Peck, Kansas since they claim that the company markets the product as being able to cure or treat disease.  And why is elderberry juice so dangerous?:

Products with unapproved disease claims are dangerous because they may cause consumers to delay or avoid legitimate treatments,” said Dara A. Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs.

I don’t know about you, but just because someone tells me that elderberry juice might help me with an ailment doesn’t mean that I won’t seek out another treatment if I feel that I should.  What is the FDA going to do next?  Make me take medicine that I don’t want?  You can read more about the situation on this ABC affiliate’s website.

2.  Probiotics – U.S. Marshals went into the UAS Laboratories‘ (manufacturer of probiotics) plant and seized probiotics and labels.  I spoke to UAS’ owner’s wife (Mrs. S.K. Dash) directly and she told me that there was no advance warning, no phone call, no letter.  Just a warrant and the seizure.  And why are probiotics so dangerous? According to Natural Products Insider:

While an initial statement from FDA did not give the exact claims it takes issue with, FDA said the products claim to treat or prevent colds, flu, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), yeast infections, ulcers and high cholesterol.

3.  Thermography – I am not a total Dr. Mercola fan, but this makes me mad.  The FDA is threatening all sorts of things against Mercola, who is arguably one of the most successful alternative health practitioners in the U.S.  The FDA explains the reason for these threats as being essentially the same as in the above case.  Mercola states on his website that thermography is a good way to detect medical problems and may be better than traditional methods.  (See the FDA’s warning letter.)

The article in Gaia-Health is informative and discusses what might be the Fed’s motivation in all of this.

What the FDA Says is Safe

Arsenic in Chickens, Arsenic in You and Arsenic-Laced Chicken Poop Being Fed to Cows – OK.  I am so done with letting my family eat conventional meat now.  I was being a bit lenient with it at potlucks until now, but no more.

The basics are that for years the FDA has known that arsenic-laced feed was being given to chickens.  The argument was that the arsenic would all come out in their poop.  Now they have discovered that it is not so.

The FDA and the National Chicken Council also say that the arsenic present in the tainted chicken is in such a small amount that it is safe to eat even though it is a carcinogen.  Ugh.

To their credit, the company who manufactures the feed has agreed to pull the feed off the market, but there is no telling how much of it is left (still being fed to chickens on a farm near you??).  In addition, according to the AP,:

Scott Brown of Pfizer Animal Health’s Veterinary Medicine Research and Development division said the company also sells the ingredient in about a dozen other countries. He said Pfizer is reaching out to regulatory authorities in those countries and will decide whether to sell it on an individual basis.” (…)

Not good enough for us, but maybe good enough for others??

Here are a few more interesting (and troubling) facts:

1.  In case you didn’t notice it in the quote directly above, the company that makes the arsenic-laced chicken feed is a subsidiary of Pfizer, the world’s largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals.
2.  Pfizer’s Prevnar vaccine contains aluminum as a preservative.  (UPDATE  – 7/2/13) the aluminum is to make the vaccine work better.) Does that sound like something you want injected into your baby?

Uh, I don’t know if you agree with me or not, but I think it’s possible that some natural things that God has provided us with in nature might actually cure and treat illness.  And I would prefer that the government not tell me what I can and cannot take.

Check out my post on How Our Family Avoided Antibiotics to see one example of natural products and how they helped us.

Now, to be clear, all of this does not mean that I am:

  • anti-pharmaceuticals or
  • anti-government

I am, however, advocating that both should be held accountable for their actions.  And we are the ones to do it.

Pharmaceuticals shouldn’t be dosed out willy-nilly to people.  People need to change their lifestyles to impact their health; not depend on a drug to clean up a mess while they continue making the mess.  For example, you can’t just eat tons of sugar and take diabetes drugs and call it even.

Seems to me that Pfizer and the FDA have their priorities mixed up.   Arsenic in chicken feed is OK | Probiotics are not.  Go figure.

Worse than that, the FDA is paid by you and me in the form of taxes.  That being so, they work for us. So…

What can you do about it?

Here are some action points, recommended by Gaia-Health:

  • Phone: 1-888-463-6332 (their main number)
  • Direct Phone to FDA Director, Margaret Hamburg:  301-796-5000. The phone is answered by staff members, so you can tell her exactly what you think.
  • Mail: Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002
  • E-mail: The FDA does not provide an e-mail address for contact.
  • E-mail the Director: However, Gaia-Health has tracked down an AOL e-mail for her and it appears to be live. You might try contacting her at
  • You can also send comments to local and national newspapers or other news media.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Please spread the word.  If we do nothing, then we deserve the government that we get.

{Photo Credit}


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Thanks, I appreciate this post. I’ve been eating real-food beef and pork, but slacking on the chicken. Okay, this now too will change.

  2. Thank you for sharing this very timely and thought provoking post with the Gallery of Favorites.

  3. Priscilla W says:

    wow, what a reminder that it is so important to know WHERE our food comes from and how it was raised/grown/etc.

    • You’re so right. It is hard to keep on top of all of this – but it’s important to try at least – and put pressure on the government to let us have freedom to choose our food!

  4. I am struggling with sinus issues right now and thought I would research Grapefruit Seed Extract and found this article: Just wondering what your take is on it?

    • Hi Kim. I had another reader ask about this as well. I sent an inquiry to a candida protocol specialist who markets GSE but haven’t heard back yet. Maybe I will post on FB and see what readers think – looks like we need to do more research on this!

  5. Adrienne,

    Every time I come here I learn something. :) This is just another reason we mix our own feed and raise chickens! Thanks for making us aware!

    • Hi Paula. I so wish we could raise our own chickens. As of now, it’s illegal in my city. :-(.

      • So odd isn’t it? We’ve come a long way baby… in the wrong direction! In 1918, the government “expected” everyone to keep chickens, claiming that “Even the smallest back yard has room for a flock large enough to supply the house with eggs.” Check out this Mother Earth News article that displays the full photo of the original publication:
        Do you think you could make any headway with yourr local municipal government using this as an example of how such practices as raising chickens in one’s own yard was not only commonplace but encouraged? Especially in light of our dismal economic state?

        • Thanks! I have already contacted one of our city commissioners. (why do we need more than one??) And I have talked w/ an activist sort of group and they want to do something. Hoping we can get this done :-).

  6. I am really enjoying reading through your blog! I found you on a link-up at Growing Home. I have an inside view on the medical field, as I have worked in a hospital for 17 years. I can say, without hesitation, that I believe it all comes down to the almighty dollar. Drug companies own both doctors and have powerful lobbies in government. Because medicine is run by insurance companies here-and much of it is medicare and medicaid, we are pretty much at the mercy of the government. It only stands to get worse with Obamacare. I have seen small glimmers of hope here and there–a handful of doctors who are well read on alternative treatments, but they are a very tiny minority. Thank you for all of the great information here. I am sure I will be referencing back to your blog regularly!

    • Adrienne says:

      Thanks, Lori. What a treat to have met you. I hope you’ll stay in touch. I am horrified at Obamacare. I do see a need to deal w/ uninsureds and “free loaders” (I used to be an insurance agent and couldn’t believe the people who wouldn’t buy insurance, despite being able to afford it). Anyway, something needs to be done. And fast.

  7. Mr. Snackypoo says:

    The probiotics were not approved by the FDA to cure/treat any disease, and they were making claims about how it can treat a disease.
    **expletive deleted***

    • I am not sure if I should respond to your comment or not since you obviously used a false name and added expletives to your comment. But…for the sake of educating my reader and yourself, your statement is wrong. Factually and in principle. I spoke w/ the owners of the probiotics company and they completely abided by everything that the FDA told them to do and they were still raided. We are becoming a police and nanny state and it’s ridiculous. On the principled end, I think supplement companies should be able to state what they think their product can treat and heal. The deaths and hard from Rxs is huge – whereas those from supplements is about nil.

  8. I never really thought about how the FDA is payed. That just really irritates me that we pay them from our taxes and yet they are just doing as they please without consulting the public, and using scare tactics. I’m sure the big pay offs from pharma and prior pharma employees has a huge deal to do with it too. Well it might just come down to natural selection…and I’m sure those of us who eat healthy and avoid chemical laden FDA approved drugs will be the ones laughin in the end! 😛

    • Of course, I’m sure we’ll all be long gone by then!! Thanks for all your great posts! I’m enjoying navigating around your site :) (Oh and I meant that having prior pharma employees now working for the FDA has a big deal to do with all of this. If that wasn’t clear in my previous post.)

  9. The FDA has a Facebook page too, that allows comments!

    Thanks for the article…sharing!

  10. I just have to interject on this post…..mainly because my man IS the FDA – a national expert, so, one of the top level experts in the industry. We definitely make “strange bed fellows” because I have always been a naturalist, alternative and holistic believer and hate doctors and drugs unless all the natural alternatives have failed me. SO, trust me….we’ve had YEARS of conversations about the crack down that I felt was all out attacks on alternative, herbal and natural ‘everything’! And to be quite plain here….he DOES believe and knows a great deal of natural and herbal stuff works much better than pharma. The companies they go after cry “poor pitiful me – the mean FDA guys assaulted me for no reason!!” But, in reality, those companies have been advertising medical claims with no clinical trials they can shove under the FDA investigators nose to PROVE their claims! And that folks is the entire reason for seizure! The natural supplement companies are making claims with no proof it works! There has to be clinical trials and those cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – even into the millions. What mom and pop shop is going to go to that expense before peddling their little herbal concoctions? NONE! So, my argument with him was shot down. He/They are right. As much as we all like to think no one selling herbal or alternative supplements would lie to us, trust me… one is in business for the fun of it. They are greedy, they lie and it’s still the almighty dollar that drives them to sell that product. People DIE from those lies. Which brings me to Big Pharma companies. Having been defeated on defending the natural supplement industry for doing stupid, non-clinical proven sales tactics, I just had to ask….so WHY don’t the Big Pharma companies sell it?? They CAN afford to do the clinical studies??? Simple reason is because Big Pharma can not patent natural. There is no money in “natural” – so, they won’t use it. Being kinda on the inside, I DO understand now the seizures and how/why this happens. It really isn’t FDA’s fault – it’s the stupid people making claims that can’t be backed up with clinical trials!! I still disagree about Big Phama and hate them. He doesn’t like them either for the most part. And trust me….the **** he sees in Big Pharma would shock you – and I do mean SHOCK YOU, no TERRIFY YOU! He and the entire industry are constantly seizing, taking to court, shutting down so many companies you never hear about that are/were doing very bad things! Problem FDA has is that most of those bad companies go running to their congressman/woman and whine, threaten etc. until the congress steps in and makes FDA back down. Lots of bad stuff still hits the market – after FDA has tried to keep it off the market. People have to die THEN the media and public attacks FDA for not doing their job, when all along, they did do their job and Congress stopped them dead in their tracks. Congress never takes the hit – they know FDA will get all the blame. Follow the money people…’s always…..follow the money.

    • Thanks for the info–I think :). (Oh – please watch language usage. Thanks!) You are an unusual couple. I will say that the one company whose owner I spoke to has a lot of good folks working with them and they said that they had complied with FDA requests but still had more stuff seized. And of course, they can’t afford the trials. Don’t you agree?

  11. Yes, I agree they can’t afford the clinical trials, most small companies cant. And I’m sure if they just stopped making medical claims they wouldn’t have any more problems. The rules are very clear. If that company doesn’t have the clinical trials to back up their advertised claims, they can’t advertise it. It’s really not that hard. I’m sure there are nice people that work there. It’s just the lack of playing by the rules that got them in trouble. Seizure can not happen without very strong evidence of blatant disregard of numerous warnings. That’s the law. It’s not the Wild West…. I would guess there was more product that was still being marketed that caused action. I went thru the same thing in Herbalife. New product – lots of distributors with no training – we all new it worked and were out there saying all these medical claims. MAN were we shut down fast! A 3 month business boom was killed overnight and it took years to gain lost momentum. I’m sure they will recover and now know to play by the rules. Just know though, there are lots of people/companies out there saying their product is “pure” something and it cures “this” ….only it’s caplets or capsules of filler! So when you find out you were being scammed, or worse, they die…..who are you going to blame? Not a fun job is it? My guy just happens to feel he really is trying to protect the public from liars, thieves and greedy companies. If you heard the things I’ve heard you’d be stunned. I still rely on all my natural, holistic and herbal products. I just make sure I do my own research, then hope and pray what I’m purchasing is what they claim it is!!!

    • I would love to hear your stories :). One thing that I would like to know your thoughts on….you mention deaths. From the statistics that I have read, it is the allopathic medicines that are causing the deaths. Here is an article by Gaia Health (and there are many others like it) stating that there isn’t even one death from supplements, herbs, or vitamins, which is something that the mainstream medicine community can’t even come close to claiming.

    • One more thought (I hit the “reply” button too quickly) — I personally don’t have a problem with someone making claims like “almonds are good for cholesterol” or “probiotics can help immune system” or “probiotics help candida”. Do you? I mean, isn’t it a vicious circle – asking them to do clinical trials that they can’t afford? I am all for purity in the industry, however. So maybe you can address all of these things. Thanks.

  12. Adrienne – I do believe we are talking about entirely two different things here. You seem to think the FDA is focused on your almonds and elderberry juice??? seriously? Did they come and seize your almonds?? I doubt it. And I can guarantee your little friends at the elderberry juice company are not telling you the whole story. They have a sympathetic ear and are telling you half truths. Seizures can not take place unless proper procedures have been followed and documented with numerous, documented warnings. I don’t have a problem with anyone making any claims, but, if it backfires on ME? Hell yes, I have a problem with it. My grandma died from believing natural gall bladder cleansing would remove the stones. I just buried her last year. The year before that, I nearly died myself. I too had believed all the gallstone alternative claims and tried it for over 2 years. By the time I gave in to emergency surgery for my final 5 solid days and nights of the most painful, debilitating gallstone attack, they said I was lucky my gallbladder hadn’t ruptured. I had one stone alone that was larger than a man’s thumb blocking my duct and it had actually killed my gallbladder – it was gray and dead and stuck to my other organs! So, yes, alternative can kill. Almonds can kill, if allergic to them and the product isn’t labeled properly. Then there is the issue of the natural, herbal supplement industry not wanting to have to label anything or be regulated. An analysis of 251 Asian herbal products found at stores in the United States identified arsenic in 36 of the products, mercury in 35 and lead in 24. In one documented case, a five-year-old boy who had ingested 63 grams of “Tibetan herbal vitamins” over a period of four years was diagnosed with lead poisoning. Another case involved a young boy with cancer of the retina whose parents resorted to a traditional Indian remedy that caused arsenic poisoning. A herbal medicine known as “Chan su,” used to treat sore throats, boils and heart palpitations, contains the venomous secretions of Chinese toads, which can cause cardiac arrest or even coma. Does that make you feel warm and fuzzy? If you want to look at the alternative, natural and herbal world with rose colored glasses on, that’s your choice. I used to. My grandma is dead, I almost died. So, when you state “asking them to do clinical trials that they can’t afford?” Sorry – I want the dang clinical trials now! My grandma would still be alive because she would have had surgery from the very first attack and so would I! I am more proactive in my research and I know that SOMETIMES doctors are warranted and sometimes meds must be used. another example….I use RX hCG. There was a big scare among all the people using it early in 2012 and everyone was saying FDA was banning it. We were all pissed because IT WORKS! Don’t think I wasn’t really pissed off when my husband got home – hell, even he had tried it and knew it worked too! Well, it turned out, what they were banning is the homeopathic hCG or hhCG. They were making claims – same as the RX and the homeopathic isn’t real. The homepathic (if you look at any label) always says 3x,6x,12x and maybe 30x or 60x. That’s how many times they “cut” it. It’s like taking a gallon of water, dropping 60 drops of iced tea in it and selling it as iced tea! Is that real? Do you really think you’re getting the same doseage as the RX? The answer is NO. There ARE clinical trials for the RX hCG – over a decade of them done by Dr. Simeons. there are NO clinical trials for the homeopathic. Anyone can lose weight on 500-800 calories. The difference is the RX hCG is documented to be consuming the fat thus the reshaping that is so evident in users of RX, vs. just starving on 500 calories which makes the body go after muscle! big difference, huh? So, once that was explained to me, I got it. I don’t want some homeopathic company out there making claims that haven’t been proven either! If they want to make those claims, get together as a group and do their own clinicals on the watered down version. So, as you can see from that example alone….there were only half truths being spread by the hhCG industry, neglecting to say it was only THEIR product! They were looking for outrage amongst ALL users including the RX, hoping to continue to slip and slide thru the cracks and continue to get away with selling their product and riding on the back of the RX hCG clinical trials. It’s an ongoing case…so as you can see, it’s not 1 warning that causes US Marshalls to come in, it can take years for a product to be seized or banned, depending on the level of public safety. For the most part, I am a tree hugging, organic, alternative and natural healing, grow my own food, avoid as much processed food as possible, kind of girl. I am screaming at the top of my lungs about GMO seeds and foods, I am trying to make everyone I know aware of the dangers all this white/wheat flour products, the poison in white sugar….I’ve changed my pantry, my recipes and I love this way of living. I wish there were MORE regulations on food products! Margarine? plastic and chlorine are the main ingredients. Sugar Cane? An FDA guy that came from USDA (who regulates sugar cane), said the cane fields are so saturated with chemicals that the runoff from those fields is more toxic and drinking nuclear waste runoff! THEN, they bleach it on top of all the other toxic chemicals and feed it to US? And meat? Ohhh, one person seemed to this FDA regulates meat? Nope, USDA regulates meat. Again, wrong assumption. It appears I have offended you and for that I’m sorry.

    • Hi there. I am sorry to get back to you so late, but you have written a ton of stuff here and it got buried. I do think that the fda is after supps and almonds. They want to regulate stuff to death and make us dependent on their meds. The ties b/t the FDA and Big Pharma are clear. I am sorry about your experiences but the data on deaths from supps is about zero whereas deaths from meds is huge.

      For all of the meds approved as being safe, there are many being taken off the market for being unsafe.

      I believe medicine is necessary in some cases, but in many, deep natural healing is what is really needed.

      And not all supps are created equal, of course. I try to use them only from companies that I trust. Thanks for commenting though.

  13. Crazy – and as an extra special bonus- That arsenic is also contaminating rice crops:

    Rice Farmers Suing Drug Company and Poultry Industry for Contaminating Their Crop with Arsenic

    Arsenic in Rice: New Report Finds ‘Worrisome Levels’–abc-news-health.html

    • Thanks. I was aware of the problem and hoped to do more research. I did talk w/ Lundberg and their rice isn’t as much of an issue since it is from CA – the southern US rice is more of a problem. Thank you.

  14. Thanks I had wondered if there were any safer brands. Crazy world when he have to watch out for poisons in food – and the govt shuts down those helping and gives greenlight the poison!
    I had a TMA test done and my arsenic levels were through the roof! I ate very little chicken and when I did it was always organic. No idea why till the rice/arsenic story broke.

  15. TMA = Tissue Mineral Analysis” Sometimes called a HTMA for Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. I used a doctor who used the best one:

    Here’s more info:

    • You’re doing NB? So am I! But mine goes through a different lab. I am going to have to contact Lundberg again and find out how much arsenic is in theirs. Thanks!

  16. For a more accurate look at poisons in foods. Pipeline article
    …and aluminum is not a preservative in vaccines…it is a active immune response initiator.
    I do appreciate you for bringing up many great topics to research. This article has fallen short.

  17. Thanks for your article and website. I hope one day everyone can open their eyes to the truth and it becomes common knowledge.

  18. Dr. Adam Kipp says:

    It is so sad that there is so much corruption and deceit within the US Government and virtually all of the regulatory agencies. We all have to be responsible for our own health and can’t rely on others to give us information because it’s just not accurate or reliable. What makes this scenario extremely frightening is when laws are past that eliminate our individual decision making rights. Thank you for exposing many of these issues!

  19. Pam Calkins says:

    Ive used health supplements since my early twenties, i seem to need more nutrients then many people i know. I have a auto immune problem, and went to a nutritionist, a couple of times, to see what might help i have trouble with pharmacy medications, only if really needed i;ve had really wonderful results with the right nutrition and supplementing! I;m a little worried now about what the fda might do with supplements, i would think nothing, with all the ones that seems safe, i;ve taken supplements daily for over 30 years!

  20. Fred Wemer says:

    I think you are too hard on the FDA. “NATURAL” has no real scientific meaning. Arsenic is natural as well as Aluminum. That doesnt mean that “natural” ingredients are good or bad for you.
    In the case of the arsenic in the chicken feed, it is difficult to avoid some contamination of any item, thus, there has to be a maximum of any ingredient that a large percent of the population can tolerate in a product. If one in a ten million are affected above a given percent it is likely to be Ok. If one in one Hundred are affected it would likely be rejected. I don’t know the actual numbers and the actual affect would be taken into the determination by the FDA. A lot of inert ingredients fall into this catagory.. I want the FDA to cull out what I consider insufficient or missleading information.
    Secondly FDA require that claims on labels be based on sound science. Old wifes tales may have some bases but can’t be used on a label with out scientific testing.

    • Hi there. I don’t think I am too hard on them. I think the nonsense of the sound science requirement is a problem. There is no money in natural products so there isn’t enough testing going on and there are clear money interests involved that cloud what they approve and what they don’t.

      Happy to dialogue more but I am not happy w/ their raiding of raw milk farms as if these folks were criminals and the nonsense in this post as well. The fact that probiotics are good for health is not an old wives tale — it is true. And to criminalize a company for stating that is in itself criminal in my opinion.

      Thanks much,

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