Lead study cries wolf

by Matt Boelke- University student

The April 10 Minnesota Daily article “U researchers: Hunting with lead poses food risks” cited a recent policy brief released by the executive director of the Raptor Center and the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, which included a recommendation to the Minnesota state Legislature to ban all ammunition made from lead. However, millions of Americans have been safely consuming game taken by traditional ammunition for over a century. The Iowa Department of Public Health has conducted extensive lead blood-level testing since 1992, including 500,000 youths under age 6 and 25,000 adults. They have never had a case of a hunter having elevated lead levels caused by consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition.

The authors of this policy brief are crying wolf. If lead ammunition is a public health risk, why has there not been a single case of lead poisoning documented in hunters? I hope people recognize this policy brief for what it is — politically motivated science to bully and infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens and hurt the proud tradition of hunting in Minnesota. By advocating for the purchase of the more expensive alternative ammunition, the end goal is to simply dissuade hunters from doing what they love.