By Marielena Montesino de Stuart
The war against lavender
I love the French. I do. I love to speak their language– and enjoy their culture, music, food and fashion.
I love King Louis IX and St. Joan of Arc. I love the traditional Catholic culture of France.
What I don’t like (along with millions of French citizens) is the current French government’s socialist proclivities– which include its tolerance of the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals). REACH appears to be overReaching by declaring a war on lavender in France. You could call this another environmentalist “accomplishment.”
Yes. Lavender is under attack by the EU’s environmentalists and sustainable development [*] “experts.” Yet lavender, this ancient flowering plant, has been used since ancient times, not just as a perfume– but for its medicinal and antiseptic properties.
Lavender oil is an essential item in my boudoir and throughout my home. Indeed, lavender has always been part of my life. I associate lavender with relaxed walks in the Orto Botanico di Padova (The Botanical Gardens of Padua)– the oldest university botanical garden in the world. I would end my walks with a visit to the nearby Basilica of St. Anthony, with its blue frescoed vault that seemed to bathe the basilica in a lavender glow. Lavender is a recurring theme in my life.
But REACH doesn’t seem to care about the beauty and healing properties of lavender. It has declared that lavender oil should be classified as a chemical toxin, right up there with hydrochloric acid and other toxic chemicals. As such, REACH is requiring that lavender products carry a bold black and red warning label– the type that you see on the back of chemical cleaners, such as “fatal if inhaled or ingested.”
The French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy does not seem to mind this aggressive approach by the bureaucrats at the European Commission’s REACH– an approach which could put at risk thousands of jobs. See documentation (PDF) in French, from le Sénat (French Senate).
I wonder how long the stunning Provençal lavender fields will be around.
The war against ISIS
On a not-so-fragrant front, François Hollande, France’s very socialist and amorous president, has decided to launch an attack– not against lavender– but against ISIS, through an air campaign conducted with French Rafale fighter jets. Four GBU-12 laser-guided bombs were dropped today near the town of Zumar, reportedly killing dozens of ISIS fighters.
President Hollande issued the following statement this morning:
“This morning, at 9.40am, our Rafale aircraft carried out a first attack against a logistics centre of the terrorist organisation Daesh [Isis] in the north-east of Iraq. The target was hit and entirely destroyed. Other operations will be carried out in the days to come.”
In 2013, The French were ready to join military action against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, until President Obama finally ended his backing-into-war shuffle. French authorities reportedly consider that Obama’s ambivalence is the reason the throat cutters have grown exponentially in Syria and Iraq.
While President Hollande continues to be France’s most unpopular president, particularly in the economic arena, he is scoring some marks by sending his armed forces into battle against al Qaeda in northern Mali– and the Central African Republic.
There is no question that, after a very depressing hearing this week in Washington DC regarding the war against ISIS, the French action over the skies of Iraq brings some hope to those suffering under the barbaric ISIS nightmare.
Unfortunately, President Hollande has not had a good year. The pressures of juggling his socialist government while fighting Islamic extremists in far away lands, is taking a toll on him.
In less than five months Hollande has had to dissolve his government twice– in order to appease both his Socialist colleagues and the parliamentary majority. The French have grown more than impatient with the state of the French economy and the control coming from Brussels and Berlin– with the latter tightening the rope of austerity across the European continent.
It’s Friday evening. May I suggest that President Hollande place a bottle of lavender oil in each room of the Élysée Palace to help him relax. The lavender farmers in Provence would be grateful.
Someone has to say the truth… (please share it).
Copyright © Marielena Montesino de Stuart. All rights reserved.
[*] - Sustainable Development is the Agenda for the 21st Century / Agenda 21 (international socialism).
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