Petition to Warn the Japanese People of Mercury Danger

Revised: 29 Aug 2011

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Petition to Warn the Japanese People of Mercury Danger

Sample Letter

To: The Food Safety Section,
The Department of Medicine and Food Bureau,
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
E-Mail: syokucommunication@mhlw.go.jp Fax: +81-3-3503-7965

To Whom It May Concern:
There is worldwide concern that mercury accumulated in the human body may pose a serious health risk, especially to pregnant women and children.

As you know, dolphin meat from drive hunts in Taiji, Wakayama prefecture, proved to be highly contaminated with toxic chemicals such as mercury, methyl mercury and PCBs. Repeated chemical analyses have shown that the level of mercury in dolphin meat is much higher than the maximum allowable level set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan.

We understand that the role of the Department of Food Safety Bureau is to promote food safety, thereby ensuring the health of the Japanese people. We urgently request the following:

1. Prohibit the sale of dolphin meat that contains mercury exceeding the maximum allowable level set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW). The sale of food items with toxic agricultural chemicals exceeding the maximum allowable level set by MHLW is already prohibited as a result of the “Positive-list System,” which was adopted in 2006. Since mercury is as harmful to the human body as toxic agricultural chemicals, the “Positive-list System” should also apply to mercury.

2. Until the above request is put into effect, consumers must be warned of the dangers associated with consuming mercury contaminated dolphin meat, in much the same way they are being warned of the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes: Every store that sells dolphin meat must be obligated to post a prominent warning label on each meat package, stating as follows: “This food item possibly contains mercury exceeding the maximum allowable level set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Mercury accumulated in the human body may harm your health.”

Sincerely,

Name, Address & Country

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