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Broiler chicken not harmful to human health: Minister

There is no health risk in eating broiler chicken as it contains antibiotic and heavy metal residues far below the maximum tolerable levels in meat, said Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque on Thursday.

Broiler chicken meat, bones and composites mainly contain small amount of two antibiotics (oxytetracycline and doxycycline) and three heavy metals (arsenic, chromium and lead), which is not unusual and is far below the maximum tolerable level, he said referring to a research report.

He was speaking at a press conference revealing the outcome of the research on whether there are antibiotics, heavy metals and other elements harmful to human health in broiler chicken meat at the secretariat.

He said broiler meat available in supermarkets has lower levels of antibiotics and heavy metals than those in farms and kitchen markets.

Campaigns in various newspapers and social media show that broiler meat contains antibiotics, heavy metals and other harmful substances that are harmful to human health. For these kind of misleading information, a misconception has been created among public about broiler meat leading to less consumption of broiler meat, said Razzaque.

“As a result, the broiler industry faces a great loss which we have seen during the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Consumption of nutritious broiler meat was reduced in the early stages of the disease outbreak,” added the minister.

If the demand for broilers can be increased, it is possible to increase the production by making full use of the existing farms and infrastructure in the country, said the agriculture minister, urging all to popularise broiler meat among people.

So, the broiler chicken market will grow rapidly, the establishment of the poultry meat processing industry will increase, employment will be created and a large amount of foreign exchange will also be earned through exports, he said.

“Besides, campaigns and public awareness should be created on the consumption of broiler chicken to build a healthy nation, meet the demand for meat and create employment.”

Speaking at the press briefing, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said the government is trying to modernise the poultry sector and provide government support for its development. “We have also requested NBR (National Board of Revenue) to give duty concession on import of poultry feed.”