Worldlog week 16 – 2015
Last week, the annual ‘State of the Union’ debate was held. In this debate, Dutch members of the Lower House as well as Euro MPs discuss the state of affairs in the EU with our prime minister, Mark Rutte. This time, strengthened by our EU colleague Anja Hazekamp in the debate, we again stressed how important it is to stop the TTIP negotiations. In my Worldlog of two weeks ago, I already discussed TTIP extensively.
With free trade agreements such as TTIP, Brussels puts democracy under pressure within the EU. Democracy in Europe will be eroded even more due to the obligations that arise by entering into free trade agreements such as TTIP. Citizens have increasingly less to say. Whereas, before, we could determine ourselves how we implemented important values such as human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare in our legislation, we have now turned that over completely to Brussels. And with TTIP, the mantra of “Brussels doesn’t allow that” will later become “Washington doesn’t allow that”.
Under TTIP, European and American diplomats will be able to smash new legislative proposals even before they are presented to European member states and parliaments. After having turned over powers to Brussels, TTIP in fact means a substantial power transfer to the United States.
I am seriously concerned about free trade agreements with e.g. the US, because it means Europe would lose its grip on climate policy, cloned meat, genetically engineered plants and animals, agrotoxics and everything that is controversial, but with which money is made in the US.
In the Netherlands, approximately 50 people die of resistant fungi each year. Research of the Radboud UMC (Netherlands University Medical Centre in Nijmegen) has recently shown that fungi resistance is caused by the use of fungicides in agriculture and horticulture, but also in soap, disinfectants and paint. These fungicides usually contain a lot of toxics. This news again shows the impact toxics have on our health.
In a report of a federal panel from the US, Americans are advised to eat less meat, since a vegan diet would be best for our planet. The meat industry feels threatened and does its best to undercut the advice …
For three months, less meat was eaten on Mondays at four Dutch ministries. The experiment has shown that, with their Meat Less Mondays, the ministries saved a million litres of water in three months! Due to great success, the ministries and caterers have decided to prolong the Meat Less Mondays for an indefinite period of time. Now that’s good news! Hopefully, more ministries will take this good example.
Good news from the United Kingdom. Our sister party the Animal Welfare Party will participate in the national elections on 7 May next. I wish them all the best!