Let them eat grice! with a side order of lead.

I am grateful to a non-reader of this blog, my mum, for pointing out this joke article in the i newspaper.

Patrick Galbraith thinks that Pheasants are the solution to food poverty – and that grouse could play their part too.  This follows his witty article on fox hunting being the most egalitarian sport, much more so, it seems, than kicking a football around in the local park.  But then Patrick is the editor of the Shooting Times and maybe he had the sense not to publish this stuff in his own magazine…

It would be a great move by the shooting community to hand over shot Pheasants to food banks. Hunters in the USA were there many years ago, mostly donating venison to organisations who were feeding the homeless in the streets of places like Chicago. It is a great idea, and was a good thing to do, until they discovered the very high lead levels in the donated meat which had been shot with lead ammunition.

Lead fragments spread through a venison carcasse. Photo credit: the Peregrine Fund.

This takes us right back to the symposium in Boise, Idaho, set up by the Peregrine Fund in 2008 (published 2009), and attended by BASC scientists, whose findings kicked off the Lead Ammunition Group whose very existence and report were so attacked by the shooting community.

Mr Galbraith looks quite young to me, but then, so many do these days, so he might not have been paying much attention in 2008 but he should reflect on the fact that if the shooting community had switched to non-toxic ammunition then, or at any time in the last nine or so years, then his idea would have some merit, but since it would unnecessarily expose the population to lead residues then it’s not really a runner is it?

For Mr Galbraith, a quote from the Food Standards Agency advice on lead:

The FSA’s advice since 2012 is that frequent consumers of lead-shot game should eat less of this type of meat. Eating lead-shot game on a frequent basis can expose consumers to potentially harmful levels of lead.

To minimise the risk of lead intake, people who frequently eat lead-shot game, particularly small game, should cut down their consumption. This is especially important for vulnerable groups such as toddlers and children, pregnant women and women trying for a baby, as exposure to lead can harm the developing brain and nervous system.’

Drop the lead and you might have a point. Didn’t Tim Bonner, Teresa Dent, Robert Benson or Christopher Graffius tell you all about the role their organisations played in keeping poisonous lead in food?


5 Replies to “Let them eat grice! with a side order of lead.”

  1. Galbraith’s lead-poisoning drivel has moved me to write to the i, at least partially in your defence. What a load of twaddle.

    1. Adam Dare – that’s daring of you (sorry)! I need no defense but it would be best not to increase consumption of poisons.

  2. Govt playing ostrich to lead issues is reminiscent of them doing a variation on the effects of smoking? Perhaps not quite the same scale, but then again lead is (or was) in so many things so surely the precautionary principle should apply?

    Then again, as ever, vested interest appears to funds advocates to stalk the mirky corridors of establishment power?

  3. Ah, another new editor for the Shooting times comic book, they go through editors faster than premier league football teams go through managers

  4. “country’s natural larder” ??? What an idiot. Still, I’m sure that the i newspaper will give Dr ‘Bellicose’ a fair chance to reply.

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