Radioactive whales caught

Ugh.... how much tastier can it get?


Tests conducted by during the spring of 2008 on residents of the village of Taiji, Japan revealed that people who eat dolphin meat exhibit extremely high levels of mercury and other heavy metals. The Japanese Health Ministry¹s advised level of mercury in humans is 0.4ppm. The highest level in our tests revealed a mercury level of 18.9 ppm in a man who eats dolphin to this day. A doctor who specializes in mercury toxicity advised this individual be immediately hospitalized. A second dolphin-eating individual showed a mercury level of 13.74 ppm. In our sample three Taiji citizens indicated they had given up eating dolphin meat a year or more ago. They still had mercury levels in the range of 7.2 to 7.9 ppm.

In some cases the levels of mercury are 1,600 times the allowed quantities in meat for human consumption. The consumption of mercury in the quantities that exist in whale and dolphin meat can impair immune response and cause neurological damage leading to loss of coordination, vision, hearing and can produce mental retardation, especially in the young.

The fatty tissues of dolphins and whales contain extremely high levels of PCBs, chemicals associated with the "estrogen effect". In effect these chemicals mimic the female hormone estrogen and may cause a feminizing effect in those who consume this meat. In women this may lead to increases in breast cancer. In men it may lead to enlargement of breasts.

Amplify’d from
A file image shows pieces of whale sushi made from sliced minke meats, blubber and rice balls, at a sushi shop in Japanese whaling town Ayukawahama, Miyagi prefecture. AFP
Radioactive caesium was detected from two minke whales caught off a city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, 650 kilometres north-east of a damaged nuclear plant, a news report said Tuesday.
Researchers examined six of the 17 whales during so-called research whaling in Kushiro city, which started this year's season in late April, and they detected 31 becquerels and 24.3 becquerels of radioactive caesium per kilogram in the two whales out of the six, Kyodo News reported citing a whalers' association said.
While the level of the radioactive substances remained below the limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram, the association officials told a news conference in the city that the contamination must have been caused by the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Kyodo reported.
Since the plant was damaged by a magnitude-9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, it has leaked radioactive substances into the environment.
In 1987, Japan halted commercial whaling, complying with an international moratorium that went into effect in 1986. Japan, however, has used a loophole in the accord to continue whaling under the premise of conducting scientific research. Critics accuse the country of doing it for money.Author: Takehiko Kambayashi

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