Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Healthy dose of mercury from whale meat & The (Australian) politics of abuse in Sri Lanka

So the story of hunting whales, whale meat and dangerous mercury levels keeps popping up every now and then. The excuses are the same as always: it's a tradition. Fair enough.

But if we were, in each of our respective countries and cultures, to follow all our traditions I am pretty sure the world would be a very different place today. Not only does whale hunting continue in the name of scientific research, but now we have 4 million kilos of frozen whale meat tucked away in who knows where throughout Japan.

With the Institute of Cetacean Research in Japan heavily discounting the frozen whale meat for the school lunches of children the question of mercury poisoning comes to mind. Granted Japan has a very seafood-heavy diet and so the average person's exposure to mercury in seafood may be higher than in other countries, but I wonder how the bureaucrats feel about knowingly providing inexpensive, potentially toxic meat to schoolchildren. How do some people sleep at night?

In another article…

Armed conflicts is in my opinion are always difficult to analyse without having all the facts available, and inevitably all the facts are for one legitimate reason or another not readily available. The end of the insurgency in Sri Lanka in 2009 was good news in that it meant an end to an armed insurgency, but how much do we really know about the insurgency itself and the methods used to end the conflict?

This article provides some insight into how Australia is out-of-step when it comes to pressing the Sri Lanka government to be more open and accountable on this issue. I wonder how Australia's political leaders feel about playing politics at the expense of accountability, but then is that even a question that requires an answer? Sphere: Related Content

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