Worldlog week 22 – 2015

26 May 2015

In the Netherlands, there are unfortunately still cruel ‘hobbies’ that cause a lot of harm to animals. An example of this is swan drifting. Swan drifting is an extremely cruel procedure whereby swans are first caught in the wild, after which a part of their wings is removed, so the animals can no longer fly away. Swan drifters make a lot of money by subsequently selling the swans as ornamental birds. For many years, our party has pleaded for a total ban on swan drifting. Not until a television broadcast about this, the State Secretary recently promised to withdraw the last exemptions. A protest group came to the Lower House in The Hague last week to campaign against swan drifting. The aim of the campaign was to urge the State Secretary that it is extremely necessary to withdraw the exemptions of the swan drifters that are currently still active. For everyone who participated in this campaign: thank you again!


On Plein in front of the Lower House in The Hague

Since the 1980s already, it was internationally agreed not to hunt whales. A few countries, however, including Iceland, Norway and Japan, are not bothered about this agreement. Many whales are threatened and they will become extinct if this continues. Negotiations between Europe and Japan are currently ongoing with respect to a trade agreement that Japan wants with Europe. To our party, this seems to be a good opportunity to have the European Parliament exert pressure on Japan through commercial policy. The negotiations ought to be stopped as long as Japan does not stop illegal whaling. Our call for this was fortunately also supported by other political groups in the European Parliament this week.


Lobbyists for the chemical industry have managed to block and delay action by the European Union against the use of hormone disrupting substances in many ways. This was said by the research and campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).

Last week, it became clear that lobbyists for the chemical industry have managed to block and delay EU measures against the use of hormone disrupting substances in many ways. They did this by, for example, manipulating scientific evidence. This involves possibly toxic chemicals in products such as pesticides, plastics, cosmetics, computers, carpets and building materials. Those substances may be hormone disruptive and are particularly dangerous to children and pregnant women. The substances have therefore been linked to, inter alia, cancer, infertility, diabetes and obesity. Allegedly, the environment department of the European Commission was seriously thwarted by colleagues of departments involved in trade and business. I find it outrageous that this has caused years of delays in legislation already. Our health should come first! In the debate about international trade, I called attention to the power of lobbyists from multinationals. Click here.


To conclude, I have two reading tips for you! Firstly, this wonderful article on the value of our nature. Secondly, I would like to recommend the book “Redefining Prosperity”. The book describes what we have been pointing out as the only party in the Netherlands: On a planet with limited resources, economic growth is no solution to the crises, but precisely the problem.

Enjoy your reads and see you next week!

Regards, Marianne