No Inspection: “States Ignore Lead-Contaminated Meat In Food Banks”

“Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year.”

“Food banks in the U.S. are on course for a preventable collision between record-setting food insecurity and lead-contaminated meat.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic hardships, 1 in 7 adults with children reported their households lacked sufficient food last month. Reliance on food banks has surged. Each year, hunters donate over 2 million pounds of hunted meat to food banks across the U.S., providing critical nutrition for families in need. However, most states do not implement a lead-inspection program for the meat, even though most of it has been shot with lead bullets.

The implications for lead exposure are significant. According to annual lead inspection results that EHN obtained from Minnesota, other state agencies are likely exempting hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals from inspection each year. Recipients include people who may be most at risk to experience health effects from lead, including children and pregnant women. “

Sam Totoni reports for Environmental Health News October 13, 2020.