You may remember that the Food Standards Agency recently updated its advice on eating game shot with lead.
And you may remember that BASC (see link) and the Countryside Alliance (see link) trotted out some outrageous nonsense about there being more lead in chocolate than in the meat of game that had been shot with lead (my blogs on this subject here, here).
I contacted the Chief Scientist of the Food Standards Agency through posting a comment on his blog (here is the link).
And here is the text of Dr Andrew Wadge’s response (and here is the link):
Don’t shoot your chocolate Santa
Thanks for your comments on lead-shot game, especially for bringing to my attention the claim that ‘pound-for-pound there is more lead in chocolate than game’. There is absolutely no justification for such a claim. The recent EFSA Scientific Opinion [http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1570.pdf], which includes data submitted to EFSA by member states including the UK, makes clear that the mean levels for game are much higher than for chocolate.
In our risk assessment, the average values for lead were 0.195 mg/kg lead in wild deer and for game birds it was 1.87 mg/kg. This is 2 – 22 times the average levels of lead in chocolate and chocolate products (0.083 mg/kg; EFSA opinion on lead). Data from the paper by Pain et al. (referenced in the enquiry) were considered and included in the Agency’s risk assessment.
There is, of course, no need to eat lead-shot game, or chocolate for that matter, as part of a balanced diet. But you are far more likely to be harmed by the levels of saturated fat and sugars in chocolate than by its lead content – unless you prefer your chocolate Santa also to have been used for target practice.
That seems pretty clear although I suspect that BASC and the CA will need some encouragement to remove these untruths from their websites. November is Game to Eat month where the Countryside Alliance promotes the value of eating game (not chocolate). The Countryside Alliance is a registered charity, charity number 1121034.
Please help get the truth out there by sending a copy of this blog to your MP as they have all been ‘briefed’ on this subject by the Countryside Alliance. Your MP’s contact details can be found by following this link.