Is wild game meat dangerous to Swedes?

Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/Scanpix. Radio Sweden.Sweden’s National Food Agency ( Livsmedelsverket) plans to investigate whether people who eat wild game shot by hunters have high levels of lead circulating in their blood, according to a report in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Last summer the NFA presented the results of a study which highlighted the high levels of lead fragments found in game such as elk, deer and wild boar.

“We are doing this study to find out more about whether the lead fragments found in game has significance for those who eat wild game and we also need to straighten out some question marks about the problems with lead found in the game,” says Rickard Bjerselius, toxicologist at NFA to Svenska Dagbladet.

The latest study will research how much of the poisonous metal is actually present in the blood of those who eat venison or other game and how much of the lead from the bullets used to kill game can leak into the meat and those people who eat it. Researchers from the Hunters Association and the National Veterinary Institute are taking part in the study.

The Hunters Association is now advising people on the amount of meat they should cut away from the area where the animal was shot. Hunters can also use bullets that do not contain lead.

It is not always easy to remove the lead fragments which can shatter when a bullets hits a bone and can spread into other parts of the dead animal.

The hunting season is in full swing in southern Sweden.

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