Mercury in packaged whale meat across Japan may be a major health problem

Dangerous levels of mercury appear to be present in whale, dolphin and porpoise meat sold widely as food in Japan, according to a study by Japanese scientists. One U.S. researcher says the findings point to a “major health problem” in Japan. The Japanese scientists bought samples from across the country, and found that every single slice of toothed whale red meat — Japan’s most popular whale product — exceeded that country’s provisional limit on mercury, with some samples containing almost 200 times the maximum value. The researchers also found that mercury levels were higher in whales caught off the coast of the southern part of the country.