Blog | New Transcripts from Japanese Scientist Decry the Dangers of Eating Dolphin Meat

New Transcripts from Japanese Scientist Decry the Dangers of Eating Dolphin Meat

December 6, 2010 by David Phillips, Save Japan Dolphins

Japanese professor, Dr. Tetsuya Endo, who appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" has touched off a new firestorm relating to statements made about the toxicity of dolphin meat eaten by people of Japan. While Dr. Endo is now contesting the use of his remarks and image in the film, the filmmakers at OPS have released transcripts documenting his damning statements about the dolphin hunters and any eating of dolphin meat.

The release of information from Dr. Endo comes at a time in which the dolphins continue to be killed at the Cove and the meat sold to the general public.

OPS, the filmmakers, cite that in the original transcripts, Dr. Endo incriminates the Japanese government's blatant disregard for publicizing mercury related health information to the Japanese people: "There is no description of safe or dangerous [mercury levels]," he states, and "There are times the consumer doesn't know it, they sometimes buy dolphin meat as whale meat by mistake." Endo's comments further incriminate local fishermen who "know that the whale and dolphin are contaminated with high levels of mercury" but knowingly sell it because they "need the money."

OPS also reveals that Dr. Endo's transcript explains how the Japanese turned to hunting dolphins and small cetaceans after the IWC banned killing of baleen whales - a point contested by nationalists and government representatives who have maintained that dolphin hunting is a cultural and culinary tradition that Westerners have no place criticizing.

Ric O'Barry, commenting on the statements of Dr. Endo, stated: "Dr. Endo is clearly aware that the dolphin meat being sold to Japanese citizens is toxic and dangerous,” “This is what he said in The Cove, and this is what his life's work has shown. We're forced to conclude that Dr. Endo is being subjected to threats and intimidation from the Japanese Fisheries Agency and others to distance himself from The Cove. But the facts speak for themselves, and so do the transcripts of the interviews. They demonstrate that Dr. Endo fully realizes that dolphin meat is poison."

O’Barry added: “I fully support the efforts of Director Louie Psihoyos and the Oceanic Preservation Society in maintaining the integrity of The Cove’s message about the severe dangers of mercury poisoning — the new Minamata disease — from eating dolphin and whale meat. All such meat should be banned from Japanese markets to especially protect children and pregnant women.” 

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