Worldlog Week 49 – 2012

3 prosinca 2012

In last week's Worldlog, I talked about our motion that asks the government to work on tightening the criteria for European agricultural subsidies. Well, it worked! This is a great step towards stopping taxes from directly and indirectly financing megastalls.

This week we had a breakthrough in the fight against genetic modification. The Dutch city of Nijmegen is the first municipality in Europe to be declared entirely free of GM crops. Congratulations, Nijmegen! Thanks to the 'GM-Free Nijmegen' citizens' initiative, they have realised a significant breakthrough in the fight against agricultural genetic manipulation. We are the only political party that specifically speaks out against all forms of genetic manipulation. Genetic modification affects plant and animal integrity. This technology also poses a great risk to people, animals and biodiversity. Multinationals use this technology to produce commercial genetically modified crops that heavily load the environment and our food supply with pesticides. That is why introducing these crops to Europe is not a good idea if we want to keep our soil and food quality, as well as our freedom of choice. We have enough to manage, even without genetically modified crops, thanks to the progressive intensification of the agricultural livestock industries.

Belgium has started a wonderful initiative on YouTube to show people that we have to modify the way we live if we are to leave our children a better world. Click here to listen to Sing for the Climate.

It was with a heavy heart that I watched dairy farmers waste precious milk in their protests in Brussels this week. Dairy farmers receive 80,000 Euros in income support from Brussels each year, then they go and do this. This as far as I'm concerned is the height of decadence: wasting milk that's meant for calves, at the expense of said calves and their mothers.

Some happy news: the Lower House, in answer to my questions, has said that they should have prevented the Lower House's kitchen staff from participating in a hunt when they were invited to do so by the Royal Netherlands Shooting Association (KNJV). A magazine called The Dutch Hunter clearly shows that the KNJV invited the entire restaurant from managers to waiters, chefs, and apprentices to participate in the hunt.

The KNJV was entirely open on what this lobbying was to achieve: “The KNJV wants to turn the people's representatives’ attention to game meats, because it is the Lower House that decides whether or not the Dutch people can enjoy a sustainably harvested, home-grown game meat”. I let the House know that this calls the integrity of their political decision-making abilities very much into question. Luckily, the Lower House agreed!

Only three weeks to go until the Christmas recess, so the Lower House is now busy with the budget debates. This means each ministry is discussing the budget for 2013. It's always a busy time, but it's also very important. We will try our hardest to leave our mark on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment's budgets.

Have a great week! Greetings, Marianne