Waitrose warnings on lead

I do think that Waitrose deserve some credit for having this heath warning about lead shot on their game meat even though it is very badly worded.  I think they are leading (no pun intended) the way in telling the public that eating lead is an issue – I am not aware of any warnings at all on other game meat on sale in supermarkets.  Please let me know if you have seen any, and what they say.

However, the suggestion that one portion of wild lead-shot game per week is OK for vulnerable groups is wrong.

The advice from NHS England is for pregnant women to avoid eating game meat which has been shot with lead – that’s not the same as ‘up to once a week is fine’ is it?

The advice from the FSA is very similar.

I know that some readers of this blog have written to Waitrose. One such reader, much quicker off the mark that I am, tells me that Waitrose said that their supplier was the biggest in the country and very reliable – which hardly seems an answer to this.

You have to wonder from where Waitrose got their scientific advice on this subject.

But Waitrose have made a move in the right direction (unlike other supermarkets) and so, surely, we can expect them to revise their health warning so that it is accurate and in line with current advice from medical experts.

Waitrose customer service email is customersupport@waitrose.co.uk and I’ll be emailing them a copy of this blog and asking them what they are going to do.  I’ll keep you posted.

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11 Replies to “Waitrose warnings on lead”

  1. I won't write to Waitrose because although it may help with their labelling, it does not have the potential to achieve what we all want, I hope - the banning of lead ammunition in the UK altogether.
    There was a 2015 petition which did not achieve 100,000 signatures, so could not be mocked by Thérèse Coffey or debated. I'm happy with her mocking it, but what will Michael Gove/Defra say?
    I am proposing to submit a new UK petition. If people would like to back it by becoming one of the 5 backers needed for a UK petition, just reply or comment on this blog entry, which gives some history, as well as comment on the suggested wording of the petition which I'm happy to modify.
    https://www.manifestoforwildlife.co.uk/index.php/projects-blog/ban-the-use-of-lead-ammunition

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  2. All these rumours about lead affecting the brain. The landed gentry have been consuming lead shot for generations and it hasn't ...

    Oh wait

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    1. Just leaving this here:
      "...I am probably the only Member who has been shot by a lead cartridge? It was about 35 years ago and I still carry 20 lead pellets in my left knee as testimony to that—colleagues will judge whether that has affected my physical state or indeed my mental state."

      Simon Hart MP
      https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2015-12-08/debates/15120845000005/LeadShotAmmunition

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  3. Well done Mark. When you have clarified Waitrose’s situation, it might worth emailing other supermarkets which sell grouse or any other poor game birds , showing them the Waitrose example and asking them what warning they proposed to put on their packets of game meat.

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  4. Meanwhile, lurking in the background, the EU moves forward at its usual steady pace:

    https://echa.europa.eu/-/echa-identifies-risks-to-terrestrial-environment-from-lead-ammunition

    I may be wrong, but I think the Countryside Alliance have misunderstood:

    http://www.countryside-alliance.org/lead-ammunition-and-echa-update/

    This, from a Czech gun lobby organisation seems more likely to reflect the CA position, once they have worked it out:

    https://www.gunsweek.com/en/ammunition/articles/new-echa-lead-ammunition-ban-europe

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  5. Hilary, it is a common misconception ,that only the "landed gentry" have historically consumed
    birds and animals, killed with lead shot.
    Many hundreds of thousands of birds, mainly wildfowl, waders, and indeed anything that could
    be passed off as them, were killed by market gunners over the past couple of centuries.
    Most of these probably ended up on the tables of the lower orders.
    In the case of the United States, these figures ran into the tens of millions.
    These unfortunate creatures would have provided sustenance, to some of the most brilliant minds
    In history.

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