Earth Island Institute

ECO: The environmental voice at the IWC

ECO is published by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission on behalf of environmental and animal welfare organizations around the globe.

For further information, please contact: Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director, Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project.

Previous volumes of ECO are available here.


Volume LXIV · Panama City, Panama · No. 3 · Wednesday July 4, 2012
Acrobat .pdf of issue

Eat Whale, Get Diabetes

Two hundred and forty peer-reviewed scientific papers addressing the connection between obesity, diabetes and eating foods, such as dolphin and whale meat, high in PCBs, PBDEs (both flame retardants), phthalates (softens plastic bottles), and BPA, also found in plastic bottles, should be of deep concern to all responsible governments.

Blue Voice is citing the information from an exhaustive study by Prof. Miguel Porta of Spain and Prof. Duk-Hee Lee of South Korea of chemical links to obesity and diabetes. The pollutants involved apparently act to disrupt the normal metabolism to produce increased appetite, increased storage of fat, and alters the way the body processes sugar.

But many countries, knowing the dangers, continue to avoid warnings to the public. The governments of Iceland, Greenland, and Japan all duck their responsibilities towards whale meat consumers in order to promote the bloody business of whaling and dolphin killing.

The connection of dangers to human health from eating whale and dolphin meat is getting stronger and stronger. In the coastal village of San Jose, Peru, Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos, president of ORCA (Organizacion Scientifica para Soneseracion de Animales Aquaticos), found a striking correlation between the people who eat dolphin meat and those getting diabetes.

Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the University of Southern Denmark and the Harvard School of Public Health reported in 2011 in the scientific journal Epidemiology that elderly residents of the Faroe Islands with a lifelong diet of pilot whale meat and blubber run a high risk of developing diabetes.

Eating dolphin and whale meat contaminated with PCBs and mercury is not good for one’s health. Why then do whaling nations continue to press for the killing of more and more whales?