Friday, April 13, 2007

True World Foods Inc To Distribute Polar Seas Frozen Sushi From Japan's Kyokuyo Co. Ltd: Company That Has Profited From Sale Of Whale Meat Despite Ban

For more on Japan and killing whales see

For more on the truth behind whaling in general see

For more on Japan and it’s other deranged practice of killing of dolphins -


Sushi deal rubs U.S. animal rights groups raw

Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:40PM EDT

By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A large U.S. seafood distributor is drawing pressure from anti-whaling activists after an agreement to distribute frozen sushi from Japan's Kyokuyo Co. Ltd.

During a telephone press conference on Tuesday, the Humane Society International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Environmental Investigation Agency called on New Jersey-based True World Foods Inc. to pressure Kyokuyo into getting out of the business of selling whale meat.

The groups targeted True World because it plans to distribute frozen Polar Seas Frozen sushi, manufactured by Kyokuyo. The agreement is on the company's Web site,

The groups say Kyokuyo has profited from the sale of whale meat despite a global ban on commercial whaling that went into effect in 1986. Japan, which says whaling is a cultural tradition, began what it calls "scientific research whaling" in 1987. The meat from the whales caught under Japan's whaling ends up on supermarket shelves.

The 1986 ban was instituted by the International Whaling Commission, of which Japan is a member. But the Commission is now divided between countries that assert that all whales need protection and others, including Japan, that say some species are abundant enough for limited hunting.

The animal rights groups declined to say what steps they would take if True World does not persuade Kyokuyo to stop selling whale products, but hinted at the possibility of calling for a boycott of the sushi.

A poll conducted for the International Fund for Animal Welfare showed that 69 percent of Americans said they were willing to boycott a restaurant carrying products from a Japanese company involved in whaling, said Patrick Ramage, global whale campaign manager for the organization.

"A strong majority of Americans are saying they are willing to put down their chopsticks until their sushi company puts down their harpoons," Ramage said.

Yasuaki Nyuya, a spokesman for Kyokuyo in Japan reached before the press conference, declined to comment because he said the company was not aware of the news conference. He also declined to provide figures relating to the company's whale business, such as annual sales or the number of whales it catches.

A person who answered the telephone at Kyokuyo's office in Seattle, Washington after the news conference, said that office does not speak to the press.

True World Foods did not return a call for comment. The company's Web site says it delivers sushi-quality seafood to more than 6,000 U.S. restaurants.

(Additional reporting by Sachi Izumi in Tokyo)

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