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Lead in Venison from Hunters
April 2008

In response to Joe Miele's recent letter that explained that lead slugs pollute the environment, I would like to mention a recent discovery.

Dr. William Cornatzer, a Bismarck physician and avid 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. He said that consuming lead is a problem because it is a severe neurotoxin and "What's very scary about this is you can't feel them -- they're like lead dust." Many of the fragments are microscopic, but can still cause harm to humans if ingested.

State health officials have told food pantries in North Dakota to throw out donated venison after high levels of lead were found in the meat destined for food pantries. The Health Department's lead coordinator said, "We're asking all the food pantries to throw it out in a landfill and not throw it out on garbage day, so no one will rifle through it," she said.

This is just one more reason not to pat hunters on the back for sending venison to the hungry! Venison is not USDA inspected and could contain Chronic Wasting Disease and be pesticide and herbicide laden

Barbara Metzler
Brookside, NJ 07926

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