Safari Club International’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program donated 317,000 pounds of venison last year to the needy, said Doug Burdin, a lawyer for the Tucson, Ariz.-based group.
The meat donated by hunters was enough for more than 1.2 million meals, he said. “It’s provided a lot of free meals to a lot of people.”
Dr. William Cornatzer, a Bismarck physician and hunter, alerted health officials after he conducted his own tests on venison using a CT scanner and found lead in 60 percent of 100 samples.
Officials in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa warn that the meat could be contaminated by lead from bullets, and North Dakota health officials told food pantries in the state to throw out donated venison.