asked Her Majesty's Government:
What assessment they have made of the effects to human health of consuming polluted whale and dolphin products, especially in children or women that are pregnant or breastfeeding..
Her Majesty's Government have made no assessment of the effects to human health of consuming polluted whale and dolphin products. Nevertheless, we are aware that the presence of organochlorines (such as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and dioxin) and heavy metals (such as methylmercury) in whales have led to several Japanese and other international toxicologists voicing concerns about the health risks associated with eating contaminated whale meat.
It is widely known that north Atlantic minke whales caught by Norway have such high levels of PCBs in their blubber that, under Japanese law, it would be illegal for Japan to import and sell them for human consumption.
Norway's Food Safety Authority and Iceland's Directorate of Health have advised pregnant and nursing women to reduce, or stop eating whale meat because of high levels of contaminants.