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March 28, 2008


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Like any story, there are two sides to this one as well.

Throwing away perfectly good meat and undoing years of good work on the part of hunters and farmers seems a bit over the top.

But, doing nothing and dismissing this evidence because it doesn't sit well with your agenda would seem foolhardy.

More research should be done and hopefully it will be narrowed down to a particular type of bullet and velocities and not lead in general.

What I do know is that people will read this story and forever more "lead found in venison" will be what they remember and that's a shame.

hanback said the other day that conspiracy theories will start up, and the doctor being a skin doctor will throw gas on that fire. this is going to get ugly i say

I'm interested to know more about the "fundamental misunderstanding of the chemistry of lead, and the human digestive system."

Seems as though the National Shooting Sports Foundation folks might do some studying of their own. I hope thier people are getting some counter-articles ready for the public.

Dean with u there. i would not be talking about lead/digestive "misunderstandings" till I had some peer-review science/medical to roll out on my own

Does this smack of a PETA type of scare tactic to anyone else?
If you shoot a deer through the chest how the h3ll are you distributing lead to the hams? Or even to the tenderloin? Backstrap.

If the bullet fragments each piece leaves a trail right? You cut out the bloodshot meat, right?

What happens when you shoot a turkey with lead pellets? If you bite one you spit it out. I've never bit into lead with rifle shot deer meat!

Much ado over nothing.

Exposure to metallic lead such as small lead objects, can rarely lead to an increase in blood lead levels if the lead is retained in the gastrointestinal tract or appendix.

Straight from an article on lead on Wikipedia.

The video supposes that the white dots in the meat are Lead, but couldn't it be bone fragment as well? Lotsa ground bone in burger.

Like I said before, I wouldn't get too worked up over this one.

Iowa is testing deer meat now:

Deer Meat Donated to Needy Being Tested for Lead
Posted: March 27, 2008

DES MOINES - Distribution of deer venison through food pantries around the state is being stopped until samples can be taken to determine if there is a risk due to contamination from lead fragments.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which administers the HUSH (Help Us Stop Hunger) program, is working with the Iowa Department of Public Health to collect and sample deer meat to determine if there is potential for lead contamination.

The state of North Dakota issued an advisory Wednesday urging food pantries across the state to not distribute or use donated ground venison through its hunter donation program after 53 of 95 packages detected metals through x-ray testing.

The decision to put an advisory on meat collected through Iowa’s HUSH program was made immediately after learning of North Dakota’s findings on Thursday. The Iowa DNR has already contacted food pantries to begin collecting samples that can be analyzed for the potential of lead contamination that might occur when an animal is harvested through firearms hunting.

There have been no reports of lead poisoning in Iowa related to consumption of venison. Anyone who is concerned about the safety of venison in their possession can choose to wait until sample results have been analyzed for further guidance. It is not necessary, nor recommended to dispose of any venison at this time. It is expected that test results will be available by next week.

“We will be collecting samples of venison collected through Iowa’s HUSH program and having those samples tested by the University Hygienic Laboratory,” said Ross Harrison, coordinator of Iowa’s HUSH program. The Iowa Dept. of Public Health is being consulted to review the sampling results when they become available.

Harrison has advised food pantries and other social service agencies that distribute deer venison to cease distribution of the meat until sampling can take place, but not to dispose of the meat at this time.

“Deer venison provided through the generosity of our hunters, is a highly valuable food source for some of Iowa’s less fortunate citizens. We certainly have an obligation to ensure its safety, but we also don’t want to be wasteful of this valuable resource if we don’t need to,” said Harrison.

The primary question needing to be answered comes down to firearm ballistics. Most of North Dakota’s deer are harvested by high-powered rifles while Iowa deer are primarily taken from shotguns. One of the questions needing to be investigated is whether there is less potential for lead fragments to be present in the meat from a deer harvested by a shotgun slug as opposed to a rifle bullet.

“There may be less fragmentation from a shotgun slug than a rifle bullet meaning less potential for lead fragments to get ground up in the meat, but we need to do the sampling to make sure,” said DNR Wildlife Bureau Chief Dale Garner.

Lead poisoning can cause significant health problems for young children and pregnant women. Since 1992, more than 500,000 Iowa children and more than 25,000 Iowa adults have been tested for lead poisoning. According to Iowa Department of Public Health records, none of the cases of lead poisoning identified from this testing resulted from ingestion of venison.

More than 25,000 deer have been donated to hunger problems in the last five years representing more than 4 million meal servings. HUSH is a cooperative effort among deer hunters, the Food Bank of Iowa, meat lockers and the Iowa DNR. The two main goals of HUSH include reducing the deer population while providing high-quality red meat to the needy in Iowa.

As I stated in my original post on the first posting yesterday, I help out with the local state chapter of FHFH (Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry) here outside my town. We do deal with lead fragments, but go to great, common sensical means of avoiding placing any of it in the meat that goes into the grinders.

It's sad because many, many homeless, and less fortunate folks end up eating this protein rich venison in the local soup kitchens.

I don't want to downplay the significance of possible lead fragments in venison, but it seems someone would have to continously eat lead laden meat to get it to reach toxic levels in the blood. Perhaps the fragments aren't in the gastro-intestinal system long enough to do much harm?

It seems as though Hanback might have uncovered another "firestorm" topic for the hunting world. Oh well, it's the information age. We are all being informed right now. I guess we should just learn to take some positives from this topic.

I'm just wondering if the firearms industry will decide to start looking at different types of material for projectiles of the future.

Dean quote:
I'm just wondering if the firearms industry will decide to start looking at different types of material for projectiles of the future.

Regardless of the outcome of the testing these states are doing, I would say that Barnes will be selling all the all-copper products they can and others will be looking @ trying to come up with new non-toxic lead substitutes that can be make into bullets.

I wouldn't be surprised to see states jumping on the "let's ban lead" bandwagon as well.

When an issue like "potential lead contamination" comes up, it's too large of a hot button issue for politicians (and lawyers) to ignore.


hell, they don't really know how bad the egg is for us....I say go for it and don't worry about it.

Bill, I'd say lead is a bit more seroius than cholesterol. LOL!!

Does cooking food change the substance of the lead? Just wondering....

Also wonder if they are going to check ground beef. Also if they are going to check ground deer known to be shot with a bow. See if it shows simalar signs of lead.

Seems to me that to much meat is showing up with the lead in it and maybe it is not from lead bullets. I just find it hard to believe that the part of a bullet that "lead fragments" can contaminate so much meat. I mean most bullets stay pretty well intack. I think to many assumbtions are being made. Is there one controllable variable here? Deer meat equals lead? It goes through many process and usually a commercial style butcher before it gets wraped up. Many different spices and seasoning are added. They need to check other meat and show us the results. Why is this just towards ground meat? steaks, tenderloins, shoulder roasts all should be tested.

What if deer and other animals have lead in their system usually but we never tested for it? Just having a hard time believing all of this....

Add Wisconsin to the list.


Well lets look at it this way, hunters are trying to feed the needy who cant afford to eat in the donation programs such as soup kitchens and so on by donating venison, so it seems to me that until we really know for sure about this lead deal that we've all been eating for years and years, if we stop feeding these people theyre going to expire of starvation before the lead gets to them anyway!

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