Dioxins down

Levels of the infamous dioxin-like compounds, including dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, have fallen in chickens, hogs, and turkeys, according to the US Department of Agriculture. DLCs are ubiquitous in the environment, arising from forest fires and volcanic activity as well as industrial processes, such as chemical manufacturing and waste incineration. They can persist for decades and accumulate in body fat of food animals leading to human exposure and consequent health concerns. USDA scientist Cynthia Deyrup and colleagues surveyed DLC levels in the four slaughter classes that represent about 90% of meat and poultry production in the US and found levels for 2002-2003 to be between 20 and 80 percent lower than those reported in less extensive tests carried out in 1994-1996. Her report points out that all the meat products tested had levels of DLCs below those recommended as acceptable in the European Union.