Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Alberta Health: Fort Chip "Only" Eating Moose with 17-33 Times the Safe Arsenic Level

Government Study Reduces Level of Reported Arsenic in Moosemeat

FORT McMURRAY (CP) - Area residents still doubt the safety of deer and moose meat from the oilsands region, despite a provincial study suggesting the arsenic levels are comparable to other areas.

''The community members are questioning the study,'' said Melody Lepine, executive director of the Mikisew Cree Industrial Relations Corp.

''Why were there no other contaminants being looked at?'' she asked. ''What does it really mean to compare it to the Yukon moose?''

A study, conducted last year for Suncor, found arsenic levels in moose meat around the oilsands may be 453 times the acceptable limits for causing cancer.

But the new study, conducted by Alberta Health and released last week, reveals arsenic levels may only be 17 to 33 times over the limit.

''There's no difference of arsenic levels in the moose meat and cattail root in the area compared to controlled areas in the Yukon and outside of Edmonton,'' said Alberta Health spokesman Howard May.

But Fort Chipewyan residents are still not confident their food is safe, said Donna Cyprien, director of the Nunee Health board.

''People asked what else is in there that the animals are getting and of course (the government) couldn't answer that,'' she said.

Fort McMurray physician Dr. Michel Sauve said there is no positive effect on the human body from any amount of arsenic.

May said the study doesn't measure possible health impacts on people who eat the meat or cattails.

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