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Maryland ban on arsenic in chicken feed takes effect

Maryland has become the first state to ban an arsenic additive in chicken feed.

A law banning the additive is among new state laws taking effect on Tuesday.

Last year, 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 the additive than those that were not. Arsenic is a known carcinogen.

Opponents said the measure wasn't needed because the company voluntarily suspended sales of the product.