At last week’s National Buffalo Wings Festival in Buffalo, New York, Peta protestors attempted to upset the proceedings. The militant animal rights group wrote to the organizers of the festival, warning them of the effects of phthalate, which is found in chicken.
The author of the letter on behalf of Peta, was Lindsay Rajt. The letter was addressed to Drew Cerza, the festival founder:
The latest scientific evidence shows that the sons of pregnant women who consume chicken are more likely to have smaller penises because of a chemical found in the birds’ flesh.
The gist of the findings, which were published recently by Study for Future Families, claims that if woman eat poultry while pregnant, it may lead to their son’s being born with smaller penises.
The letter to the chicken wing organizers continued in the same vein:
In addition, eating cholesterol-laden chicken flesh during pregnancy may also increase unborn babies’ risk of being born with blocked arteries, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks later in life.
Before you get too alarmed though, Woman’s Health Magazine says that the findings of that study didn’t actually look at the consumption of chicken at all. While WHM did agree that there is a connection between exposure to phthalate and small genitals in male babies, it noted that chicken wasn’t thought to contain high levels of the chemical.
Even Shanna Swan Ph.D., a professor at Mount Sinai Hospital, said the connection made by Peta was very weak:
I think any link between eating buffalo wings—even by pregnant women—and the size of their son’s genitals is very tenuous.