Animal rights party PvdD has asked Amsterdam local council to abolish the city’s annual tulip-picking event in January because the bulb industry is so polluting.
The pick-your-own event was initiated by growers in 2012 and is meant to kick off the tulip season, even though all the flowers on show are grown indoors.
“We are giving space to an advertising stunt by a polluting industry,” PvdD local party chairwoman Anke Bakker told the Parool.
Bakker also said the city, choc-a-bloc with tourists as it is, does not need more. The tulip garden, which moved to Museumplein this year, attracted some 18,000 people in January, most of whom were visitors.
Bakker pointed out that pesticides are not only killing insects but are also thought to be a contributing factor in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
The tulip growing sector represents 8% of the total use of pesticides in the Netherlands, topped only by the lily industry with 12%.
The growers are happy to dole out their tulips because January is a quiet time for growers, said Arjan Smit, chairman of organisers Tulip Promotion Nederland.
Smit also said the tulips in Amsterdam come from greenhouses which use less pesticide. The tulips grown in the fields where pesticides are used in far greater quantities are mostly exported abroad, he said.
According to Smit, the use of pesticides has been going down since 1985 and the sector is looking for alternatives.
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