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April 08, 2008

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Update: More Venison Testing Needed

As the controversy over lead contamination in venison rages on (see our previous coverage), the North Dakota doctor and hunter whose CT scans of 95 packages of meat started it all is echoing the call from many hunters (as well as readers of this blog): “Somebody needs to do additional studies.”

Here’s the latest, from the Grand Forks Herald:

“This is a preliminary study. This is not something that’s the end-all of research that needs to be done on this,” said Dr. William Cornatzer, the Bismarck dermatologist who tested ground venison samples. “Somebody needs to do additional studies looking at deer that have been shot in various areas (of the body).

“This was not a big study, and it doesn’t tell us all the answers.

Cornatzer does, however, defend his limited study as valid. Be sure to check out the full article, which covers the whole issue in depth and with fresh details.


Brian T

Lead-heads: read the full article. Dr. Cornatzer's work looks both valid and revealing.

Mc. Squizzy

The lead in the ground deer could be from the equitment that processed it.

John R

Also somewhat contradictory, quote:

"The Iowa Department of Public Health lifted a similar advisory Wednesday after tests failed to find more than trace amounts of lead in venison samples.

One reason, Cornatzer said, is that Iowa hunters use shotguns with slugs to hunt deer instead of the lead bullets used in North Dakota."

Correct me if I am wrong, but aside from Remington Copper Solids (I am not aware of a similar product by another manufacturer) many hunters that I know who use shotguns for deer hunting are still using lead slugs. Some of them are sabot shells, but the slug itself is still lead (like the Brenneke). The only way I could possibly validate Cornatzer's statement would be that due to the lower velocity of lead slugs, the lead doesn't flash melt when it hits tissue and therefore does not transfer lead particles into the meat.
The issue does beg for further research prior to any hard conclusions. Just my 2 cents.


How long does it take for a handful of other deer hunters with access to CT scanners to give us some info??


"Canton said the amount of lead in the five samples that showed traces of metal in the X-rays ranged from as high as 55,000 milligrams per kilogram, or parts per million, to as low as 4,200 mg/kg. Of the 15 random samples sent to the Iowa lab, one piece tested for lead at 120 mg/kg, she said, while the other 14 showed no lead."

This just shows how silly this is. 55,000 mg/kg is 5.5% lead. No deer is walking around with 5.5% of its muscle weight in lead.

But look at the difference between the CT "results" of 5.5% to .42% lead and the actual lab analysis of .012% to 0% lead. 14 of 15 samples that the Dr. showed said had huge (percentage amounts) levels of lead actually had no detectable amount (and they can detect lead to .001 mg/kg or .0001%). As I've been saying, this is a ridiculous unscientific "study" and the people that denied poor people venison over this should be fired. This doctor should personally compensate the food shelters for their lost food.

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