Skip to comments.Warnings of lead in venison irk hunters
Posted on 03/31/2008 12:42:01 PM PDT by neverdem
Thousands of pounds of venison donated to food pantries this year has become a contentious gift in three states.
Officials in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa warn that the meat could be contaminated by lead from bullets. Hunting groups are calling it an overreaction.
"It's alarmist and not supported by any science," said Lawrence Keane, a vice president and lawyer for the Newton, Conn.-based National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. "High quality protein is now taken out of the mouths of needy, hungry people."
North Dakota health officials on Wednesday told food pantries in the state to throw out donated venison, saying it may have lead fragments. Officials in Minnesota and Iowa followed with similar alerts, asking that venison in those states not be distributed.
Gov. John Hoeven said the alerts were issued as a precaution. He said the state has a "tremendous working relationship" with hunters, and the questions raised about venison are new.
Safari Club International's Sportsmen Against Hunger program donated 317,000 pounds of venison last year to the needy, said Doug Burdin, a lawyer for the Tucson, Ariz.-based group. The meat donated by hunters was enough for more than 1.2 million meals, he said.
"It's provided a lot of free meals to a lot of people," Burdin said. "Hunters are doing something they love and helping others at the same time. This is disheartening, and we certainly don't think this program should come to an end on the unscientific assessment that has occurred here."
Dr. William Cornatzer, a Bismarck physician and hunter, alerted health officials after he conducted his own tests on venison using a CT scanner and found lead in 60 percent of 100 samples. The North Dakota Health Department confirmed the results on at least five samples of venison destined for food pantries.
"This isn't just a food pantry problem. This is a nationwide problem," Cornatzer said Friday.
Hunters have alternatives to lead, he said. "I'm a big hunter. I've already purchased four boxes of copper bullets to next year," Cornatzer said.
The North Dakota Community Action Partnership distributed 17,000 pounds of venison from 381 donated deer after last year's hunting season, a number that has tripled since the program began in North Dakota in 2004, executive director Ann Pollert said. At least 4,000 pounds of venison were in food pantries in the state when the health department issued its warning, she said.
The state has about 45 food pantries, and surveys have shown a need for more than 70,000 pounds of venison annually, Poller said. She hopes people will donate other types of meat.
"Meat is so expensive," she said. "This is going to have an impact - it's a quality, lean meat protein source that we're losing."
Jason Foss, president of Minot-based Pheasants for the Future, said hunters from his group donated about 100 deer this year to the program. He believes the issue of lead-contaminated meat is "a little extreme at this point."
"Sportsmen have been shooting deer for hundreds of years with lead bullets with no problems," he said. "I hope this program keeps rolling along because so much good comes out of it."
National Shooting Sports Foundation: http://www.nssf.org
For more than a century, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely consumed game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition. There is absolutely no peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support the unfortunate and unnecessary overreaction by North Dakota and Minnesota health officials, based on an unpublished study by a local dermatologist, to have food pantries discard perfectly good meat because it was taken with traditional ammunition. Furthermore, we question whether a dermatologist is even qualified to render these opinions, particularly in light of the absence of any scientific findings published by qualified experts. No systematic scientific or epidemiological evidence exists in the scientific literature to support conclusion that there is a human health exposure risk. The dermatologist study does not scientifically establish the existence of a health risk. For example, there is not a blood test to show whether anyone who consumed venison acquired at a food panty had elevated lead levels, let alone that the venison was the source. The decision to take nourishing, high-protein food out of the mouths of the needy was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the chemistry of elemental lead and the human digestive system. The state is needlessly creating a scare upon hunters that has no basis in science. We strongly urge North Dakota and Minnesota health officials to reconsider their decision and for other states to base their public policy decision on sound science.
This dermatologist must be some kind of environazi.
I know I am irked. Damn irked.
See that "has", make it had..
Heck, I’ve seen that much shot in one squirrel.
If this stands, watch for a general call for all firearm hunting to be banned because of “lead contamination” of the meat.
One would not normally eat the meat in the area where the bullet enters/exits the animal. This guy’s a dope.
Yep...last I checked, lead doesn’t leech or oxidize and therefore doesn’t hurt the environment unless it is ingested (and then at higher levels than one is really capable in eating in game with lead shot or bullets). Which means, just another form of control. Biggest risk is breaking a tooth, so therefore we should outlaw steel, bismuth and tungston shot right?
That picture is a bunch of bull. Iv’e killed upwards of 40 deer for the table and i have never had bullet or slug leave that much lead in the meat. What the heck did the butcher do? Pack up the wound channel?
Does this mean that deer must now carry a warning label as approved by the FDA?
We need to pick up on these news items a little quicker and sooner. This was news on the MSM two days ago. My vet said the story is ludicrous.
You should see some of the ducks we get at close range and the youngsters shooting. They haven’t learned to head shoot or let them get out aways.
Er - Doc, normally I think if you just spit it out it won’t hurt ‘cha.
“Officials in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa warn that the meat could be contaminated by lead from bullets.”
Could? Maybe? Lets see some proof based on chemistry.
The CT scan shows high-density points, but if the hunter was using Barnes or similar, the points are copper or brass.
CT cannot identify elements, just relative x-ray density. It takes a little easy work to find out what the dense points are.
Send it to me. I’ll fire up the grill and open a nice red.
Lead, asbestos, total nanny fascist overreaction.
That could be the goal, or the incremental one of requiring special non-lead bullets to increase operating costs to hunters.
A non-lead slug costing $10 each that causes extreme barrel wear would be ideal from that viewpoint.
The deer that I shot 2years ago weighed 1.575 million grains and the bullet I shot it with weighed 185 grs.
You do the math.
Two weeks ago, I had a piece of either venison or elk pepperoni from the fall hunting season for lunch. Somewhere along the line, I found a piece of lead about the same size as a BB, but nowhere near round.
As far as I could tell, the only danger was to my teeth. God knows, I have clamped thousands of lead split shot on fishing lines in my youth.
I have been on a work-required annual lead test from the ages of about 50-58*, and no lead has ever been found in my system. I can attest that eating several bullet shot deer, feral hogs, and an occasional elk or two, does not elevate lead levels.
- - -
* The reason behind this was that we were once working with a bullet trap to collect rifle shots at work. One of our female lab techs (very cute) noticed that there was lead dust in the trap, and call our internal industrial health & safety.
The guy who answered the phone knew her by sight, and said “Judy, your right that is lead and you are contaminated. Take off all your clothes and wait for me.”
The net result of this was that all of us got lead tests every year for a long, long time.
That's my take on it. If that CT scan is indicative of all packaged venison I should have been dead years ago from the hundreds of packages that have been in my freezer.
It's baloney, IMO.
If you’d like to be on or off this Upper Midwest/outdoors/rural list please FR mail me. And ping me is you see articles of interest.
I think you are partly right. Most hunting ammo is jacketed and not solid lead and does not come apart like that. I’m thinking the particals are more likely bone...
Let them eat cake!
I didn’t think of that! If you twiddle the CT knobs, bone could be made to saturate like that and appear to be very dense, you are right!
Somebody needs to challenge this guy on fact and technique.
“Hunters have alternatives to lead, he said. “I’m a big hunter. I’ve already purchased four boxes of copper bullets to next year,” Cornatzer said. “
No, you haven’t. You may have purchased copper jacketed or copper encapsulated bullets, though. Neither of which will guarantee that you won’t have lead in the wound area of the deer.
Send it to me.
oh no - the line forms here LOL.....chicken fried with gravy
No bird shot in the meat.
They are making solid copper bullets now but mostly for pistols in indoor ranges. They do have copper rifle ammo, mostly for the same application. The solid lead pistol bullets were leaving vaporized lead in the air of the indoor ranges.
I don’t think it would be very good for hunting though... too light for a good balistic cooeffecent in long range shooting...
The amount of lead showing up in those venison packages would lead me to believe the poor deer was shot with a gatling gun and no one bothered to remove the slugs. I find it far fetched to believe that a deer felled with a single clean shot is riddled with lead fragments particularly if the wound area was excised.
Well....why don’t they start ‘clubbing’ the deer to death like they do to seals?
Oooppps.....silly me....forgot deer can run.
No lead in my venison, just 3 or 4 surgically sharp blades which are removed to be used again. (I recycle my game harvest equipment.)
Off the charts with this claim.
Liberals sure like using junk science to promote their radical agendas. The meat around the bullet entrance/exit wound is discarded.
I switched from guns to bows a years back ( it just wasn’t a challenge ) and thus am lead free. Hooray!
Bite the bullet: lead poisoning after ingestion of 206 lead bullets.
McNutt TK, Chambers-Emerson J, Dethlefsen M, Shah R.
Florida Poison Information Center, Tampa General Hospital, 33601, USA.
Vet Hum Toxicol. 2001 Oct;43(5):288-9.
A 45-y-o male with a history of schizophrenia was admitted to a local VA psychiatric unit. Five days later, endoscopy due to abdominal pain, gastrointestinal bleeding and blood hemoglobin of 5.6 g/dL revealed bullets in the stomach. On subsequent radiograph, > 50 bullets were visualized in the stomach and intestines. Poison Center recommendations included whole bowel irrigation and a blood lead level. After poor results with gastrointestinal decontamination and a repeat radiograph showing > 100 cartridges, surgical intervention was considered but not performed due to perceived risk of bullet detonation from electrocautery. The blood lead was reported as 391 mcg/dL. Calcium EDTA therapy was initiated, followed by aggressive gastrointestinal decontamination. Four days of whole bowel irrigation facilitated passage of 206 cartridges over the next 10 days. The patient was discharged on a 14-day course of 600 mg Succimer tid to treat the bone lead deposits and blood lead level of 49 mcg/dl. An outpatient visit 6 w later showed the blood lead level had dropped to 24 mcg/dl. Aggressive gastrointestinal decontamination and calcium EDTA and Succimer administration successfully treated an ingestion lead bullets and the resulting lead poisoning.
I think the problem would be with children consuming it.
This guy is apparently unfamiliar with the concept of bioavailability of metals.
Well, I guess old Jedidiah Smith and other Old West mountain men must have been REAL contaminated, considering they only had lead shot in their muzzleloaders when they hunted venison and other game critters. Maybe that’s why Jeremiah Johnson went for eatin’ human livers...
I smell peta behind this
Oh, for Pete’s Sake! (Excellent find, though; you’re so good.)
‘All your venison are belong to ME!’ What a bunch of #$&@&^ INGRATES.
More proof of what a lefty SCAM “Hunger in America” is. When I see the bodies in the streets (aside from the ‘Rats I’ve strangled myself over this issue) THEN I’ll believe that there’s absolutely NOTHING for people to eat. If we didn’t have such BOUNTY in America, this wouldn’t even be an issue!!
We’re having Venison Sloppy Joes, steamed Green Beans and Tater Tots for supper. Y’all come!
P.S. I HATE picky eaters. You have two choices under my roof; Take It, or Leave It, LOL!
Not that I seriously advocate banning firearm hunting, but it would be extremely pleasant if I could bow hunt from Sep to Jan without having to share the woods with the “pumpkins” I can’t see myself missing the “good old days”.
Then sitting around and talking about the “good old days.” is all that WILL be left of hunting.
You know if they haven’t taken it out and defrosted it I’ll be GLAD to take all the venison other hunters can donate.
Vegetarian : Sioux Indian term for “lousy hunter”
“P.S. I HATE picky eaters. You have two choices under my roof; Take It, or Leave It, LOL!”
I’m with you. I am SO sick of friends or relatives that can’t eat this or that because of their “health”, “diet”, philosophy, sociological or political stand, etc.
That’s OK, eat or don’t eat what you choose or don’t choose, just don’t feel compelled that you have to TELL ME ABOUT IT. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW, JUST SHUT UP AND EAT OR DON’T EAT OR HIT THE ROAD AND DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE,..... ON THE WAY OUT. And leave the wine for me.
Adios sucker, now scram.
Is this a stitch or what. If they haven’t tested the “particles” they could be anything from bone to, more likely, something picked up at the butcher. So much for the charity of hunters. I note the charitys on the receiving end aren’t complaining.
That’s true. And I have taught my children to hunt with guns, so I’m only kidding wrt “pumpkins”. That, and its extremely difficult to shoot dove and ducks on the wing with a bow ; )
I’m being 100% serious in this statement: If hunting is outlawed, I will be an outlaw hunter.
At different times, of course, the company is fine.
Don't think I've ever met a bowhunter who doesn't hunt during firearms season, though I'm sure there are some.
Next week, a skan with a broadhead in some poor persons free hamburger.
Let them eat cats.