Worldlog Week 37 – 2009

11 September 2009

Next week is Prinsjesdag in the Netherlands and during the traditional women’s hat parade I will wear a chef’s hat embroidered with golden letters that spell out ‘Meat Free Mondays’ to support Paul McCartney’s campaign – that each of us strive for at least one meat free day a week.

Last week we held a debate in Dutch parliament over an eel fishing ban.
These wonderful animals, which go so far as to climb walls and travel extreme distances to reproduce, are facing near extinction. Despite this fact, nearly the entire Dutch government wants the catch to continue and probably will not be satisfied until the last eel has been killed.

Minister Verburg has argued for a fishing ban of a few months each year, but experts believe this measure will only postpone the inevitable.

We also held a debate last week about sustainable soy. It is shocking that politicians and social organisations are doing their utmost to promote roundup ready soy as ‘sustainable’, whereas doing so gives both Monsanto patented seeds and their pesticides free reign – there could be no better gift to one of the world’s most dominant multinational companies – a company that already has our food supply in its hands.
We will only stand for non-genetically manipulated soy and call for a ban on pesticides. We also want to see the cultivation of plant-based proteins organised regionally and also want greater emphasis on lupines and tarwi crops, as they are both extremely attractive protein sources as well as excellent sources of green manure.

This week the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, one of the Dutch government’s most important advisory bodies, argued for a public debate on reducing the consumption of animal proteins. The Environmental Assessment Agency believes people need to consume less meat, fish and dairy – the exact same stance we took in Meat the Truth, a film Dutch politicians took great delight in scoffing at in 2007. Scientists worldwide have been working in the meantime on a book that will also be called Meat the Truth to scientifically underpin the need for a transition to sustainable protein.

The book is expected to be released at the end of this year. If you would like to nominate a scientist to contribute to the book, please let our scientific agency, the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation at
See you next week!