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Michigan DNR to ban lead bullets next?

Old 11-09-2008, 05:16 PM
Fork Horn
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Default Michigan DNR to ban lead bullets next?


Question or fact, you decide.........

Michigan DNR Press Release & North Dakota Department of Health News Release.

DNR Issues Tips on Reducing Lead Exposure in Venison Contact: Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources

Nov. 6, 2008

A recent report by a North Dakota researcher has brought up the issue of lead fragments in venison, prompting the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to inform hunters of ways to reduce their exposure to lead in venison.

As many hunters know, a controversy has developed surrounding lead contamination of venison. This is because high-velocity rifle bullets will sometimes fragment on impact, especially if they hit bone. The small fragments are likely too small to be seen or felt while chewing.

There are a number of ways to reduce potential exposure to lead. For example, hunters may select loads that are less likely to fragment; or non-toxic loads that contain little or no lead. In addition, slower shotguns and M7 projectiles do not fragment the way high velocity lead bullets do.

Regardless of weapon, once a deer has been taken, liberal trimming around the wound channel will help limit lead exposure. Discard any meat that is bruised, discolored or contains hair, dirt, or bone fragments.

A study by the Federal Center for Disease on whether lead in venison poses health risks to humans is expected to be completed soon.

"Lead fragments have been found, but we don't know that it's a health risk," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources veterinarian Steve Schmitt. "People have been consuming venison for hundreds of years and may have been consuming some lead fragments, but we're not aware of any health problems. Whether or not it's a risk, we don't know."

People who are concerned about ingesting lead with their venison might limit themselves to whole cuts, as opposed to ground meat.

The issue of lead fragments in venison came about after a North Dakota researcher found that 56 percent of the packaged venison he examined, which had been donated to food banks, contained lead fragments. Subsequent testing of venison in other Midwest states showed lower percentages of lead contamination in donated venison.
While Minnesota and North Dakota pulled venison from food banks and had it destroyed, other Midwest states did not. In Michigan, all venison from the state's Sportsmen Against Hunger program had already been distributed, so there was none in food banks to pull or test. For more information about white-tailed deer hunting in Michigan, visit the DNR's Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting

North Dakota Department of Health

For Immediate Release:
Nov. 5, 2008

For More Information, Contact:
Stephen Pickard, M.D.
North Dakota Department of Health
Phone: 701.328.2372
E-mail: [email protected]

State Health Department Announces Preliminary Findings in Blood Lead Level Study

BISMARCK, N.D. - People who eat wild game harvested with lead bullets appear to have higher levels of lead in their blood than people who don't, according to preliminary findings in a study conducted by the North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study tested blood collected from a total of 738 North Dakotans in late May and early June 2008, according to Stephen Pickard, M.D., epidemiologist with the Department of Health. In September, each participant received a letter with his or her blood lead level, as well as information to help them interpret the results and a phone number to call if they had questions.

"In the study, people who ate a lot of wild game tended to have higher lead levels than those who ate little or none," Pickard said. "The study also showed that the more recent the consumption of wild game harvested with lead bullets, the higher the level of lead in the blood."

The correlation is statistical and adjusts findings for other potential sources of lead exposure; consequently, some individuals with substantial wild game consumption may have lower blood lead levels than some other individuals with little or no wild game consumption.

The lead levels among study participants ranged from none detectable to 9.82 micrograms per deciliter. Wild game consumption among study participants ranged from zero to heavy consumption. Some study participants had no identifiable risk factors for lead exposure while others had more than one potential risk factor for lead exposure.

"No single study can claim to be the final answer; however, this represents the best information we have to date to guide policy recommendations," Pickard said. "Because we know that lead exposure can cause serious health problems, especially for children and pregnant women, we are providing more definitive guidelines for hunters and others who may eat wild game shot with lead bullets."

Based on the results of the CDC blood lead level study and a Minnesota study looking at how different types of bullets fragment, the North Dakota Department of Health has developed the following recommendations to minimize the risk of harm to people who are most vulnerable to the effects of lead:

* Pregnant women and children younger than 6 should not eat any venison harvested with lead bullets.

* Older children and other adults should take steps to minimize their potential exposure to lead, and use their judgment about consuming game that was taken using lead-based ammunition.

* The most certain way of avoiding lead bullet fragments in wild game is to hunt with non-lead bullets.

* Hunters and processors should follow the processing recommendations developed by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

* If food pantries choose to accept donated venison or other wild game, they should follow these recommendations:

* Shot with lead bullets - Accept only whole cuts rather than ground meat. (Studies indicate that whole cuts appear to contain fewer lead bullet fragments than ground venison.)

* Shot with bows - Accept whole cuts or ground meat.

"We are providing these recommendations so that hunters and others who consume wild game can make informed decisions," Pickard said. "Over the next year, we plan on working with the departments of Agriculture and Game and Fish to conduct further testing of venison to evaluate the cleaning and processing guidelines issued earlier."

In late March 2008, the North Dakota departments of Health, Agriculture, and Game and Fish advised food pantries across the state not to distribute or use donated ground venison because of the discovery of contamination with lead fragments. A few weeks later, Minnesota made a similar advisory after laboratory tests discovered lead in venison that had been donated to food pantries in Minnesota. At that time, the North Dakota Department of Health asked the CDC for assistance in conducting the blood lead level study.

In October, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released results of a study to determine how bullets commonly used for deer hunting might fragment. The study indicated that lead particles commonly are found farther from the wound channel than previously thought and that the number of lead fragments varies widely by bullet type. In addition, the study indicated that most lead particles in venison are too small to see, feel or sense when chewing.

Pregnant women and young children are especially sensitive to the effects of exposure to lead because they absorb most of the lead they take in, and the brains of infants and young children are still developing. For children 6 and younger, any exposure to lead is considered too much. Although lead is also toxic for adults, they are less sensitive to the effects of lead and absorb less of the lead they take in. The following health effects often result from exposure to lead:

* In young children, lead exposure can cause lower IQs, learning disabilities, stunted growth, kidney damage, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
-- more --

* In pregnant women, high lead exposure can cause low birth-weight babies, premature births, miscarriage and stillbirth.
* In adults, lead can cause high blood pressure, hearing loss and infertility.

A fact sheet and other information about the lead-in-venison issue is available on the North Dakota Department of Health's website at www.ndhealth.gov/lead/venison. Information about the Minnesota bullet study is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/lead/index.html.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:10 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Michigan DNR to ban lead bullets next?

[align=center]Firearms Industry Statement on Results of
CDC Blood Lead Levels in Hunters Study
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry -- issued the following statement in response to study results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released by the North Dakota Department of Health, showing no evidence that lead or "traditional" ammunition pose any health risk to those who consume harvested game meat.

Recognizing that hunters and their families may be concerned or confused by recent news reports about the study, NSSF encourages every individual who may consume harvested game meat to read the NSSF statement, fact box and CDC report made available in this news release.

[align=center]Facts Hunters Should Know from the CDC Study . . .[/align]1. Consuming game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition does not pose a human health risk.
2. Participants in the study had readings lower than the national average and well below the level the CDC considers to be of concern.
3. Children in the study had readings that were less than half the national average and far below the level the CDC considers to be of concern.
4. The study showed a statistically insignificant difference between participants who ate game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition and the non-hunters in the control group.
5. Hunters should continue to donate venison to food pantries.
[align=center]--------------------------------------[/align][align=center] Read the CDC report (PDF)[/align]
The CDC report on human lead levels of hunters in North Dakota has confirmed what hunters throughout the world have known for hundreds of years, that traditional ammunition poses no health risk to people and that the call to ban lead ammunition was nothing more than a scare tactic being pushed by anti-hunting groups.

In looking at the study results, the average lead level of the hunters tested was lower than that of the average American. In other words, if you were to randomly pick someone on the street, chances are they would have a higher blood lead level than the hunters in this study.

Also of note, the lead levels of children under 6 in the study had a mean of just 0.88, less than half the national average. Children over 6 had even lower lead levels. The CDC's level of concern for lead in children is 10.

A media advisory released by the North Dakota Department of Health cited the highest lead level reading of an adult study participant as still being lower than the CDC lead level threshold of concern for a child, and significantly lower than the CDC accepted threshold of concern for an adult. Furthermore, during a tele-press conference hosted by the ND Department of Health, officials stated they could not verify whether this adult even consumed game harvested with traditional ammunition. Correspondingly, the study only showed an insignificant 0.3 micrograms per deciliter difference between participants who ate wild game harvested with traditional ammunition and non-hunters in the non-random control group.

Also demonstrating their understanding that game harvested with traditional ammunition is safe to consume, the ND Department of Health, following the release of the CDC study results, encouraged hunters to continue donating venison to local food banks as long as processing guidelines were adhered to.
NSSF was critical of the ND Department of Health when earlier this year the Department overreacted to a non-peer reviewed study by a dermatologist who claimed to have collected packages of venison from food banks that contained lead fragments. North Dakota health officials did not conduct their own study, but merely accepted the lead-contaminated meat samples from the dermatologist. The ND Department of Health then ordered all food banks to discard their venison. Serious questions were raised in a subsequent investigative journalism piece published this summer about the scientific validity of the testing of venison samples from the ND food pantries, including concerns regarding the non-random selection of the samples.

It has since come to light that the dermatologist's efforts were not the independent actions of a concerned hunter, as he claimed. It was an orchestrated strategy by the Peregrine Fund -- an organization dedicated to eliminating the use of lead ammunition for hunting. The dermatologist serves on the Fund's Board of Directors.

For more than a century, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely consumed game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition, and despite there being no scientific evidence that consuming the game is endangering the health of individuals, special interest groups like the Peregrine Fund and anti-hunting groups are continuing to press state legislatures around the country to support a ban on this common, safe and effective ammunition.

These politically driven groups understand that while an outright ban on hunting would be nearly impossible to achieve, dismantling the culture of hunting one step at a time is a realistic goal. Banning lead ammunition is the first step of this larger political mission. We can only hope that with the conclusive CDC results concerning the safety of traditional ammunition, legislatures across the country will listen to science and not anti-hunting radicals.

The notion by some, that any amount of lead is a "concern," is scientifically unfounded rhetoric that runs contrary to nationwide, long-standing standards of evaluation. The NSSF is pleased that hunters and others can now comfortably continue consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition that has been properly field dressed and butchered, yet we remain unsettled that for so many months good and safe food was taken out of the mouths of the hungry as nothing more than a political gambit by special interest groups.''

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Old 11-11-2008, 06:31 AM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Michigan DNR to ban lead bullets next?

Passed in California

"Last year California became the first state to pass a law prohibiting hunters from using lead ammunition within the condor’s 2,385-square-mile range. Lead is banned for shooting big game, such as deer, antelope, bear and non-game species, such as feral pigs and coyotes. Smaller game, such as birds and rabbits, can still be killed with lead bullets."

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