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Lawmakers debate ban on arsenic in chicken feed

Chicken farmers nationwide have stopped feeding their flocks a drug containing arsenic since a 2011 government study suggested the cancer-causing metal may be tainting poultry, but Maryland lawmakers are still struggling with whether to ban the once-widespread practice.

Health advocates and environmental activists squared off Wednesday in Annapolis with poultry industry officials over a bill that would prohibit feeding chickens and turkeys any additive containing arsenic. Proponents called it a matter of prudence, while opponents warned it could hurt Maryland's leading agricultural sector, already struggling to stay profitable.

A bid to ban arsenic from chicken feed failed...