ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign a bill this week that would make Maryland the first state to ban an arsenic additive in chicken feed.
Last month, state lawmakers passed a bill banning the use of Roxarsone, a chemical used to help the birds grow and fight parasites.
Pfizer Inc., which distributes Roxarsone, stopped selling the chemical in July after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study found higher levels of inorganic arsenic in chicken treated with Roxarsone than in those that were not fed the chemical. Arsenic is a known carcinogen.
Opponents have said the measure isn’t needed because Pfizer Inc. voluntarily suspended sales of the chemical.
The law would take effect Jan. 1.