ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Legal Newsline) - A group of Maryland lawmakers and state Attorney General Doug Gansler say they want an arsenic additive removed from chicken feed.

They argue that the chemical is a threat to public health and a pollutant.

According to the Baltimore Sun's Maryland Politics blog, roxarsone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the 1940s to prevent chickens from getting sick in crowded conditions. It also makes them grow bigger, faster.

Del. Tom Hucker, a Democrat from Montgomery County, has sponsored legislation that would ban use of the chemical in the state. There also is a Senate version of the bill.

Gansler, in addition to backing the proposed legislation, told the Sun he also plans to lobby the FDA to change their opinion on the chemical.

Meanwhile, supporters of the feed additive -- who argue that it is safe -- say the bill could hurt the state's poultry industry.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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