In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a global rage against people who consume exotic meats, such as pangolins. But there is also concern over the consumption of turtle meat.
A lecturer at the University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) from the Faculty Faculty of Marine Science and Environment Dr Muhammad Hafiz Borkhanuddin says turtle meat consumption can cause deadly diseases.
“This can lead to toxic effects including kidney disease, liver cancer and developmental effects on the fetus and children.
He was speaking to Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency on the possible impact of the consumption of turtle meat by humans.
Turtle meat is sold through the black market to meet demands in exotic food.
The World Health Organisation and health journals says the consumption of hawksbill meat can be fatal.
Hawksbill turtles all over the world feed mainly on toxic sponges. While the animal can survive on the diet, it can be deadly for humans.
The toxins in the meat exceed international food safety standards. It can result in neurotoxicity, kidney disease, liver cancer, developmental effects in foetuses and children, and even death.
Because of this, it is considered highly dangerous for humans. Poisoning by turtle meat is called chelonitoxin.
However, other types of turtle meat can also be poisonous. However, there is no indication Turtles can carry viruses like pangolins or bats.