Seal oil leaves a fishy aftertaste...
while idiotfish, but not seal meat, is a formally accepted name for Canadian seafood

But more to the point, seal products may threaten human health.

by Debbie MacKenzie, April 20, 2006

Seal products may pose human health risks

Canadian 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 Canada’s “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.

“Veterinary 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 Canada’s Meat Inspection Act.

The safe 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 more)

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things..." (Lewis Carroll)