UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 30 (UPI) — Anti-whaling groups say they want the World Health Organization to act on possible health hazards of eating whale meat.
A coalition of groups wants WHO to issue guidelines about the safety of whale meat, claiming it is contaminated with mercury and should not be consumed, the BBC reports.
But whaling nations say health guidelines already in place are sufficient and oppose the proposals.
Currently, WHO has no guidelines concerning the consumption of whale meat, although its Web site lists mercury as a chemical of major public health concern.
One country that consumes a lot of whale meat, the Faroe Islands in the northeast Atlantic Ocean — a self-governing nation within the Kingdom of Denmark — says its people have already been advised to eat no more than one or two meals a month.
“It’s quite wrong to use the term ‘health hazard,’” Kate Sanderson, director of the Faroe Islands’ department of oceans and environment, said.
“It’s true that pilot whales have very high levels of mercury … and in 1998, the relevant health authorities at the Faroes issued a safety recommendation advising people on how much it was safe to eat. And people have taken that advice on board.”
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