Microplastics in the food chain

With microplastics found in 73% of meat and dairy, who is protecting you from eating plastic?

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » Microplastics in the food chain

Published: 11 July 2022

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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73% of meat and dairy products tested by scientists in a new scientific study contained microplastics.
 
The study highlights plastics in livestock feed as a possible cause of the contamination.
 
The study was conducted by researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and was commissioned by Plastic Soup Foundation.

Plastics in food

Scientists detected plastic particles in 18 of the 25 milk samples tested.
 
Seven out of the eight beef samples tested were found to contain plastic particles, while five of the eight pork samples contained particles of at least one type of plastic.
 
Scientists also tested livestock feed for the presence of microplastics.
 
All of the 12 samples of feed, pellets and shredded feed were found to contain microplastics.

The study has sparked serious fears about microplastics’ contamination of the food chain.

‘Animals are able to absorb at least some of the plastic particles they are exposed to in their living environment.
 
‘This study should act as an impetus to further explore the full scope of exposure and any risks that may be associated with it.

‘The production of plastic-free feed for animals may be one of the ways to improve the plastic particle exposure scenario for livestock.’

DR HEATHER LESLIE
Eco-toxicologist, co-author of the study

Microplastics and farm animals

Scientists believe microplastics in feed pellets represent one of the possible exposure routes through which plastic particles reach the bodies of animals, alongside ingestion of water and respiration of air.
 
Concerns over microplastic contamination of farm animals have been growing in recent years.
 
In 2021 American farm worker Emmanuel Moore was dismissed after he posted a TikTok video revealing how plastic waste was allowed to contaminate pig feed.


 

‘With microplastics present in livestock feed it is not surprising that a clear majority of the meat and dairy products tested contained microplastics.
 
‘We urgently need to rid the world of plastic in animal feed to protect the health of livestock and humans.’

MARIA WESTERBOS
Founder and CEO of Plastic Soup Foundation

Protection from plastics

Plastic Soup Foundation has launched a new commercial that focuses on eating, drinking and breathing plastic.

We protect our children from chewing and swallowing plastic, but who protects us as adults?

In this short film, we see how plastic packaging is incorporated into livestock feed. The video closes with a call to sign the petition to protect yourself from eating plastic.

Click here to add your name.

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