Presented by the University Archives of the University Libraries, with the Department of Biochemistry of Virginia Tech
Fifty-Year Celebration of the Department of Biochemistry

Roderick Young
"PCBs in Turkey"
Interview by Robert R. Schmidt

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Schmidt: I can remember back when I was a faculty member here, some of the poultry industry had problems with contamination. I cannot remember the name of the compound.

Young: They discovered polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were in the turkey that came from Virginia and fed to the children in Mississippi and Alabama. It was in school lunches. That was horrible, "Horrible," they said. So where did the PCBs come from? Tracing back to the mesh wrapping that was on the turkeys is where the PCB came from. We traced the cotton mesh back to Minnesota, where the big company made all that mesh for all the meats. All theirs was loaded with PCBs.

Then we traced where the cotton came from. It came from Mexico, where they used PCBs to control molds and so forth in storage of cotton. Because humid climate in Mexico tended to form a lot of mold and PCBs would kill the mold. And so we went back to where it came from.

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Last Updated on: Friday, 04-Apr-2003 15:02:57 EST by Trina M. Lane