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"Hamburger" made from whale meat is among the many products animal rights groups say Amazon.com unethically sells on its Japanese site. (Image courtesy Amazon.jp)

Animal rights groups protest Amazon sales of whale bacon, endangered species meat

Animal rights activists have launched a new campaign after discovering the Seattle-based Amazon.com sells a variety of products made from whale meat on its Japanese website including bacon and jerky.

More than 145 food products derived from whales, dolphins and porpoises are for sale on Amazon Japan, according to a new report by the non-profit British-based Environmental Investigation Agency.

"Amazon.com has a clear policy of banning trade in endangered and threatened species but is turning a blind eye to commercial trade in whale products from endangered and threatened whales on its Japanese website," said Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency in a statement.

The group said that in 2011 its investigators purchased a number of whale products from Amazon Japan, including canned whale meat, whale jerky, whale bacon and whale stew, some from endangered species. Many of the products were found to be contaminated with toxic mercury at levels, far higher than Japan's allowable limit, according to the report published in partnership with the Humane Society International.

The group is calling on Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to personally intercede and stop selling the products. But Thornton said the company has not responded to numerous requests for action or comment.


Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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