oil leaves a fishy aftertaste...
while idiotfish, but not seal meat, is a formally accepted name for
more to the point, seal products may threaten human health.
Debbie MacKenzie, April 20, 2006
products may pose human health risks
products from seals that are being sold commercially may be unfit for
human use or consumption because seals are not bound by the healthy
at the time of slaughter rule, nor are they processed in accordance
with the Canadas Meat Hygiene Directives, both practices
that are enforced in the legal trade of all other mammals. This exemption
is based on seals having been classified as fish under certain
parts of Canadian law, which creates a legal loophole that is currently
being exploited by ill-advised seafood processors selling
seals. The upshot is that human consumers of seal products, both within
Canada and internationally, are potentially exposed to serious health
risks that are transmissible to humans from animals. Therefore, Canadian
produced seal oil, seal meat and seal pelts may all be unwholesome by
accepted international standards.
Health Certificates are required to accompany all exports of animal
products. This ensures that not even a cowhide destined to be
processed as boot leather in the most remote corner of the Earth can
be exported from Canada without a veterinarian attesting to the health
of the cow, as determined by inspection both before and after its death.
Veterinarians systematically screen cows and other livestock for a host
of contagious diseases that might be passed on to humans or other animals,
and the movement and trade of animals and animal products is restricted
accordingly. This activity is regulated under Canadas Meat Inspection
consumption of seafood, on the other hand, is regulated
under a different law, the Fish Inspection Act, and certificates attesting
to the wholesomeness of fish are generated not by veterinarians
but by fish inspectors, who have been trained to screen for food threats
to humans that might be found in fish (you know: in cold-blooded hairless
creatures that swim and use gills). Evidence on the website of the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggests that seal meat has been exported
from Canada (to Hong Kong and Korea at least) with fish and seafood
certificates rather than with veterinary health certificates
designed for animal products. (...read
time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things..."