10/07/2014 04:23 EDT | Updated 12/07/2014 05:59 EST

Don't eat moose organs: Quebec health agency

A health agency in Northern Quebec is recommending that people not eat moose organs because of cadmium found in samples collected last fall.

Moose kidneys and livers are considered a delicacy among the Cree First Nations of Eeyou Istchee.

Last year officials from the Abitibi-Témiscamingue health agency and Quebec's wildlife department collected samples from the kidneys of 24 moose that were hunted in the region.

In a press release, the health agency says there were not enough samples to draw definitive conclusions. But the release says the results are still "worrying." 

Cadmium is used in plastics, batteries and solar panels.

The Abitibi-Témiscamingue health agency wants to continue its research and is asking hunters to help out by keeping a kidney from each moose killed this season and dropping it off when registering the kill at the office in Rouyn-Noranda, Que..

Meanwhile the Cree Health Board is encouraging Crees to continue eating traditional foods. A CHB study published this summer that sampled blood cadmium levels from residents of the nine communities of Eeyou Istchee, says that the biggest factor in blood cadmium levels is not what people eat, but whether they smoke.