Agencies investigating lead contamination from bullets
Resource agencies in several Midwest states, including Missouri, are reminding hunters that venison from deer harvested by firearms might contain lead powder or fragments. This education effort comes after tests showed that some ground venison donated to food pantries in North Dakota and Minnesota contained lead fragments. North Dakota researchers believe the lead came from the bullets that killed the animals. Lead dust and fragments could contaminate meat when the bullet strikes flesh or bone. Studies are being performed to determine the effect of various types of bullets. Those designed to exsplode or "mushroom" on impact, for example, might increas the amount and extent of lead deposition. Copper bullets are considered a safe alternative for hunters. As a precaution, hunters should always trim away and discard flesh surrounding the wound channel from any bullet. Iowa researchers are comparing blood lead levels of people who consme venison regularly with a control group to determine whether eating venison could increase the risk of lead poisoning. State Veterinarin Taylor Woods, DMV, said, "We have never had an illness or case of lead poisoning by consumers eating deer, quail or pheasant, but we recomend that meat be trimmed around the wound channel to get rid of more than 98 percent of the lead." The Conservation Department is working with other states, as well as other Missouri state agencies, to inform people of any risks involved eating venison.
Now, maybe it's because I grew up in the country. Maybe it's because we've butchered a lot of our own meat since I was knee high to a grasshopper, but isn't what this article is about just plain common sense? Do they really need to spend, who knows how much, on a multi state study to tell us what most of us already knows? We've always trimmed the meat from around a bullet channel. We also trim away any bloody or bruised meat. Just a simple common sense thing to do with any kind of game, not just venison. In a way this almost seems like an article people like our friends at PETA would just love to spread. I can see their banners now, " DON"T EAT VENISON OR YOU"LL DIE FROM LEAD POISONING!" I'm sure there's some city fella somewhere who'll read this and think, " Really? I'd have never thought of that!" so I guess someone will benifit. Just seems all that money could be better spent elsewhere. For instance, they could send it to me and I'll tell them what most of us already know.
Edited by Spirithawk, 29 September 2008 - 03:22 PM.