From Iceland — Whale Beer Should Have Been Stopped

Whale Beer Should Have Been Stopped

Published October 8, 2014

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The Ministry of Industries and Innovation has ruled that the sale of whale beer should be banned – some eight months after the supplies of the beer ran out.

RÚV reports that the Ministry has ruled that it was right for the West Iceland Health Supervisory Authority to place a ban on the beer, which counted amongst its ingredients traces of “whale meal” – powdered whale parts made mostly from bone. In the Ministry’s opinion, whale hunting company Hvalur hf. did not have the legal authority to sell whale meal to brewery Steðji.

The decision, however, comes a bit after the fact. The seasonal beer sold out while a decision from the Ministry was pending about eight months ago.

As reported, the premiere of the beer earlier this year gained brief international attention for its novelty. Not everyone was pleased, however, least of all the West Iceland Health Supervisory Authority, who banned the sale of the beer, only for Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson to override the ban and make it for sale again.

Things came to a head in parliament, when Social Democrat MP Mörður Árnason submitted a formal inquiry as to whether Hvalur hf. even had the legal authority to sell whale meal in the first place.

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