Three Arkansas farming operations have filed a class-action lawsuit against Pfizer, Tyson Foods, and three Arkansas poultry producers over arsenic detected in their rice.1
The lawsuit claims the defendants "knew that excessive arsenic in chicken litter used as fertilizer on many rice farms in Arkansas would contaminate the entire U.S. rice crop and infiltrate the general U.S. rice supply, and that public news about such arsenic contamination would result in devastating financial losses to U.S. and Arkansas rice producers."
Is Contaminated Chicken Litter the Culprit?
The suit comes on the heels of a Consumer Report issued last month, which reported it had found "worrisome" levels of inorganic arsenic in various rice products sold across the U.S. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is no real 'safe' level of exposure to inorganic arsenic, which is a well-known cancer-causing toxin. Consumer Reports found that white rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas all had higher levels of arsenic than rice samples from other locations, including India, Thailand and California.