|Is this in my chicken? Only very, very little|
In both papers, analytical chemists take a peek at feather meal, a poultry industry byproduct, for compounds you might expect from factory farms: antibiotics, stimulants, and antihistamines. A surprise dark horse was encountered in arsenic, which apparently caught everyone so off guard that they required a full second paper to adequately discuss it.
Glancing quickly at both journals' major tables, it's clear we're talking small amounts here: parts per billion (ppb), which for EST means ng / g, and for STE ug / kg. To put this in perspective, let's imagine we had a swimming pool, which we filled with 1000 L (~270 gallons) of water, which will weigh 1000 kg (density of water = 1 g / mL @ room temp). Now, what's a ppb for this scale? One milligram of material, or about what you'd add if a snowflake fell into your pool.
|Better start eating....|
Source: Home of Science Wonders
Remember: infinitesimally tiny amounts of several "bad" substances float by you every day, but you don't often see people dropping dead.
Maybe that's the reason that this NYT reporter buries his lede - a quote from his source, Dr. K. Nachmann, an author on both papers: "We haven't found anything that is an immediate health concern."
And look, now I've gone and buried it, too.
(Update, 12:09 4/5 - Commenters on Twitter point out that a topic I did not address - detection of banned antibiotics - could be cause for concern. I agree with that point)