Sale Of Contaminiated Whale Products Puts Japanese Consumers At Risk

Ito-Yokado, the Japanese parent company of 7-Eleven Inc., is putting their customer’s health at risk by ignoring compelling evidence that whale, dolphin and porpoise (cetacean) products containing high levels of mercury and methylmercury are being sold in their stores, stated the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Greenpeace.

During an on-site survey of Ito-Yokado group stores, EIA researchers purchased canned ‘toothed whale’ products from two York Benimaru stores, a subsidiary of Ito-Yokado. Chemical analysis of these products showed levels of mercury and methylmercury that far exceeded the Japanese Government’s legal limits. The highest level of methylmercury in the tested products was nearly 15 times higher than the Japanese Government allowable level.

Mercury, a potent neuro-toxin, has been proven to cause irreversible neurological damage with severe cases resulting in coma or death. Even in low concentrations, scientists have found that mercury can cause damage to nervous systems, with developing fetuses and children especially at risk. Recent scientific data have indicated that damage caused by pre-natal exposure to methylmercury may be irreversible and post-natal exposure to methylmercury could cause further developmental problems. The overwhelming evidence of high pollution levels in Japanese whale and dolphin products provides a compelling argument to end the hunts.

Japan has come under worldwide pressure to stop all whaling activities for the purpose of scientific studies which has been used as a excuse for continuing to hunt whales and dolphins for human and pet consumption.