Microplastics Detected In Meat, Milk, and Blood of Farm Animals

By: | July 14th, 2022

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

In a study, scientists at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA), Netherlands have discovered microplastics in beef and pork. Researchers also discovered microplastics in the blood of cows and pigs on farms. 

A report by Plastic Soup Foundation exposed that microplastics were found in three-quarters of the products they tested. 

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that fragment from plastic waste. Microplastic contamination is a growing threat and has been making headlines for a few years now. These fine particles are widely dispersed in the environment. These are not only found in depths of oceans, mountain peaks, and in glaciers but also in soils as well.   

Recently in a study by scientists in the Netherlands, researchers discovered microplastics in the blood of about 80% of people tested.

However, in this latest study by the Plastic Soup Foundation, researchers discovered that almost 80% of meat and dairy products they tested contain microplastics. They also found microplastics in every animal pellet feed sample they examined. But they didn’t find any contamination in the fresh food.

Researchers speculate that the feed of cows and pigs could be the pathway of contamination. Another possibility is that the meal was packed in plastic.

Maria Westerbos, director of Plastic Soup Foundation, said, “This study raises serious concerns about the contamination of our food chain with microplastics. It is also clear that farmers are not responsible for this. It seems that – at least part of the – former food products, including from supermarkets, are processed into livestock feed with packaging and all. This is not only detrimental to animal welfare but perhaps also to ourselves. Most likely, almost every steak and burger contains small pieces of plastic,” 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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