Saturday, August 04, 2007

'Toxic waste' fed to schoolchildren

No, not a tale of turkey twizzlers, but dolphin meat in Japan. A couple of local politicians have dared to point out the bleeding obvious, that the dophins "traditionally" slaughtered off the coast on Japan and then stuffed into schoolkids (no-one actually buys the stuff willingly) by politicians in the hope that they will be indoctrinated into this "traditional way of life" are actually not fit for human consumption.

I look forward to the agriculture minister claiming that the Japanese intestines are adapted to mercury-rich food through their unique genetic heritage.

Perhaps not. Mercury poisoning has a long history in Japan - they basically invented the problem, and some people are justifiably touchy about the subject (which was covered up for decades, and lawsuits from the infamous ~1950s pollution scandal continue today).

Actually Prime Minister Abe has just lost his 2nd agriculture minister in as many months, both due to embezzlement scandals (the last may actually have more to do with the ruling LDP's historic defeat in the recent elections).

To be fair, the actual amount of dolphin eaten is probably small enough that the mercury isn't that big a health problem. But it all makes good knockabout politics.

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