Saturday, January 23, 2010

Whale meat tasty but toxic

Rather than chasing the Japanese whaling fleet around the Antarctic Paul Watson and his merry band of rancid butter-tossing sea hippies could get immediate results by simply funding an ad campaign emphasising the dangers of eating cetaceans:

Levels of mercury in hair samples of residents of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, are about 10 times the nationwide average, possibly due to consumption of whale meat with a high concentration of mercury, one of the researchers who conducted the study said Thursday.

Hair samples were collected from 30 men and 20 women living in the whaling town, whose population is about 3,400, December 2007 and July 2008 for testing, said Tetsuya Endo, an associate professor at Health Sciences University of Hokkaido.

"It's necessary to conduct more detailed research on their health conditions and the current status of contamination," he said. "We should also make efforts to curb consumption of whale meat, which is highly contaminated with mercury."

But a simple ad campaign in Japan would involve neither adventure nor glory. Much better to be the centre of attention.




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