SOME 73 percent of meat and dairy products tested by scientists contained microplastics, a new scientific study will reveal today (8th July).
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.
Scientists detected plastic particles in 18 of 25 milk samples tested.
Some seven out of eight beef samples tested were found to contain plastic particles, while five of the 8 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.
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.
Eco-toxicologist Dr Heather Leslie, co-author of the study, said: “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.
Maria Westerbos, Founder and CEO of Plastic Soup Foundation, said: “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.”
Today Plastic Soup Foundation launches 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 and close with: “New research shows that plastic is getting into our food. Sign the petition and protect yourself from eating plastic.”
For more information visit www.plasticsoupfoundation.org.
See the following link for the full report.
Sign the petition here.
See here for the accompanying video.