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Haarlem

Meat ads banned in Dutch city to fight ‘climate change’

The city of Haarlem in the Netherlands has taken the radical decision to become the first city in the world to ban meat advertising in public places from 2024, due to its "climate impact", according to a decision drawn up by the environmental party GroenLinks.

Published: September 22, 2022, 9:02 am

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    Right-wing politicians are calling it a “quasi-dictatorial” ban. The idea is similar to those put forward by Bill Gates: he has recommended a transition to the consumption of synthetic meat to fight climate change.

    The city of Haarlem near Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, with a population of 160 000, wants to ban advertisements for meat from meat producers displayed in places controlled by the municipality, such as buses, bus shelters and advertising screens, but the legal framework for the measure remains to be defined, The Guardian reported.

    The measure, put forward by the green party GroenLinks, was adopted by the Haarlem city council at the end of 2021. It has gone unnoticed until last week, after advertising firms were notified of the upcoming ban.

    Advertising of ‘bad meat’ prohibited

    “Making money as a municipality by renting out its public space to products that accelerate global warming is against the city’s policy,” GroenLinks councilor Ziggy Klazes told AFP.

    Once implemented, the measure would make Haarlem “the first city in the Netherlands and even in Europe (and indeed the world) to ban the advertising of ‘bad’ meat in public spaces,” Klazes further said.

    Several Dutch cities have already decided to ban advertising for air travel, petrol cars and fossil-based products. Haarlem now intends to add meat to that list.

    “Today’s globalism stems from a fusion of global markets and communist planning. It is a confluence of control greed and gluttony. And it was developed at St Antony’s College, Oxford – where Sigrid Kaag [former foreign minister, MP and WEF acolyte] studied,” explained FvD leader Thierry Baudet. Baudet caused an uproar in parliament after exposing St Antony’s College in the UK.

    An attack on freedom of expression?

    But according to administrative law professor Herman Bröring at the University of Groningen, a ban can be seen as an attack on freedom of expression, reports the Dutch daily Trouw.

    The move has also drawn criticism from the meat industry and some political parties, who see it as a form of censorship and stigmatization. “Furthermore, it is almost dictatorial to ban ads on politically motivated grounds,” Joey Rademaker, the right-wing BVNL city council member in Haarlem, said in a statement.

    Opposition councilor Sander Van den Raadt (BBB, Farmers’ Citizens’ Movement) has launched his own communication campaign in favor of meat advertising, with the slogan “proud of meat” to mark his opposition to the municipal board’s decision.

    About 95 percent of the Dutch eat meat, 20 percent of them daily, according to the latest official figures published in August 2021 by the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

    In a 2020 article, the non-governmental organization Greenpeace estimated that if the EU wanted to achieve its goals of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2050, Europeans would need to reduce their meat consumption by 81 percent.

    According to Bill Gates, rich countries should only eat synthetic meat

    In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the founder of Microsoft advocates, in addition to the introduction of green energy, a transition to synthetic meat. On February 14, 2021, in an interview with MIT Technology Review , the billionaire said in connection with the launch of his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: “I think all rich countries should switch to 100 percent synthetic beef. You can get used to the difference in taste, and it is said that the taste gets even better with time,” says the Microsoft founder.

    In Grenoble, the green mayor introduces vegetarian menus as standard

    In conjunction with the start of the school year, on September 1, the Green mayor Eric Piolle announced a new measure decided for Grenoble’s school canteens: He announced that canteens would now offer “vegetarian menus as standard”. “The logic is reversed: you have to ask to eat meat or fish,” he explained on his Twitter account.

    However, just days after the system was introduced, an overwhelming majority of parents chose meat or fish. As RTL reported, 94 percent of them refused to choose the vegetarian menu for their child. They preferred to maintain their children’s eating habits. “We’ve always eaten meat at home […] You have to stop forcing your diet on others.”

    The decision to offer vegetarian menus as standard is the result of a vote held in the city council last June. The municipality had then expressed its desire to reduce meat consumption and limit animal husbandry in order to combat global warming. “It’s good for your health, it’s good for the planet,” said Eric Piolle.

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