People who eat lead-shot game on a frequent basis are exposing themselves to potentially harmful levels of lead, according to new guidance from the government department responsible for food safety.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which has conducted a study of consumers of wild game in Scotland, says that frequent consumers of lead-shot game should eat less of this type of meat. It says its advice is especially important for vulnerable groups such as toddlers, children, pregnant women and women trying for a baby, as exposure to lead can ?harm the developing brain and nervous system?.

FSA director of food safety Dr Alison Gleadle said: ?This advice is targeted specifically at the small number of people who eat lead-shot game on a frequent basis.

?To minimise the risk of lead intake, people who frequently eat lead-shot game ? particularly, small game ? should cut down their consumption.?

The new guidance from the FSA was received sceptically by shooting organisations. BASC director of communications Christopher Graffius pointed out that the European Food Safety Authority says the greatest source of lead in food is from cereals and potatoes.

The rest of this article appears in the 17th October issue of Shooting Times.

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