Worldlog week 48 – 2014

24 November 2014

Terrible news this week. Almost 200,000 chickens in total at two poultry holdings were gassed due to an outbreak of bird flu. The current large-scale system is like a ticking time-bomb for unstoppable outbreaks of animal diseases. In 2003, 40 million chickens were gassed due to the bird flu. Diseases are bound to arise when living beings are kept so close together in one area. It is absolutely ridiculous that three small Dutch municipalities ( Barneveld, Veenendaal and Ede) together accommodate ten million chickens. It is causing a continuous threat of a contagious virus outbreak. And despite the fact that people living in the neighbourhood are seriously worried, more mega stables or virus factories are being built.

Megastal 20

Recent research showed that migratory birds, which often serve as scapegoats for bird flu, are actually exposed to the virus in the Netherlands instead of bringing it here.

All in all, food enough for a debate in the House of Representatives. My request for one was unfortunately rejected. In my parliamentary questions I asked for clarification on the guarantee of the welfare of animals during the transport ban, the safety of people living in the neighbourhood and the application of highly animal unfriendly CO2 to kill chickens. Gasification with CO2 often means a slow painful death for the chickens.

This week, I submitted two motions regarding the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the United States (TTIP). The motions request our government to call on the EU to end the negotiations on this agreement and to discuss a more sustainable alternative with the US. Meanwhile, more than 230 community organisations and citizens’ movements from 21 Member States have started a citizens’ initiative and have already collected more than 913,000 signatures. Last month, the European Commission informed the initiators that it will not acknowledge the citizens’ initiative. Shame on the EU. I called on the Dutch government to argue in favour for the initiative in Brussels. The Free Trade Agreement has very harmful effects on the environment, animal welfare, developing countries and European entrepreneurs. Hopefully we can stop these types of practices!


Great news! The 20-year-old Dutch Boyan Slat from Delft has won the UN Environmental Prize with his invention to remove plastic soup. Enough money has meanwhile been raised by a crowd fund campaign to test increasing prototypes of his installation system. Boyan is the youngest winner of this prize ever. Congratulations!

plastic soep

During the debate on the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation budget, I pointed out the relation between development issues and climate change. The global food supply is threatened by the climate change that is caused by the West, which will hit the developing countries hardest. On top of that, the rising sea level will cause hundreds of thousands of climate refugees within no time at all. I further clarified that development aid from the Netherlands should in particular mean that we will start to produce and consume differently. We have to focus on fair trade, transparency with respect to the origin of the raw materials and regionalisation!


Here is a very interesting video of chief economist Rifkin. He advocates an end to the high meat consumption and says that the credit crisis is nothing compared to the problems that are still to come.

Until next week!