Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gov. Martin O'Malley Signs Nation's First Law Banning Arsenic in Our Chicken // Four Democrats Voted to ALLOW Arsenic!

UPDATE:  A reader notes that the bill banning arsenic in our chicken was sponsored in the Senate by Paul Pinsky, and co-sponsored by Senators Frosh, Madaleno, Raskin, Rosapepe, and Stone.  In the comments below, a second reader urges us to check out unfavorable amendments to the arsenic ban that were offered by Senator Mac Middleton (Charles County Democrat). He appears to have an arsenic fetish.

Below Maryland Juice highlights a noteworthy bill that was signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday. The bill in question bans arsenic from chicken feed, and surprisingly, this was both a first in the nation law and a bit controversial. Really???

The arsenic ban was sponsored by Del. Tom Hucker in the House (with co-sponsors Anderson, Arora, Barve, Bobo, Carr, Carter, Conaway, Cullison, Frush, Gilchrist, Holmes, Howard, A. Kelly, Lafferty, Luedtke, Oaks, Reznik, S. Robinson, Stein, Waldstreicher, and Washington). In the Senate, Paul Pinsky lead the charge. Notably, four Democrats voted to allow arsenic in our chicken. Check out the excerpt below from Mr. Hucker's press release on the matter (excerpt below):
O'Malley Signs Arsenic Ban 5/22/12 (Source)
TOM HUCKER: With the stroke of a pen today, Maryland will become the first state in the nation to ban arsenic additives widely used in the chicken industry.

The ban, HB 167, comes after three years of sustained advocacy by public safety and environmental advocates — and opposition by Pfizer and the poultry industry, which hired some of the top lobbying firms in Annapolis. Now environmental and food safety advocates are reaching out to other states, including neighboring Virginia, to introduce similar legislation.

“Today Maryland shows the nation how to stand up for food safety and the environment,” said Delegate Tom Hucker (D-Montgomery County), the main sponsor of the legislation. “There is no safe level of arsenic, and yet we’ve allowed the poultry and pharmaceutical industry to add 30,000 pounds of arsenic to Maryland’s soil, water, and food supply each year for over sixty years. McDonald’s and Perdue have been smart enough to avoid the use of arsenic additives for a long time. Yet we allow every child in our public schools and every consumer in our stores to be fed chicken that could not be served at McDonalds. I’m proud of my colleagues who stood up against the arsenic lobby to protect our environment and the public health.” Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George’s) guided the bill to passage on the Senate floor with a vote of 32-14...

DEMOCRATS WHO VOTED TO ALLOW ARSENIC IN OUR CHICKEN: You can see the roll call votes on the arsenic ban at the General Assembly's website (House Roll Call & Senate Roll Call), but below we provide the list of Democrats who voted to allow arsenic in our chicken. I didn't even bother to list the Republicans who supported arsenic in our food, because it is practically all of them (seriously). Please send any corrections or omissions to

Democrats Who Voted to Allow Arsenic in Maryland's Chicken:
  • Del. Norman Conway (Wicomico & Worcester)
  • Sen. Jim DeGrange (Anne Arundel)
  • Sen. Roy Dyson (Calvert, Charles & St. Mary's)
  • Sen. James Mathias (Somerset, Wicomico & Worcester)

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