Friday, February 10, 2006

EU Commission Proposes Ban on Catnip

Brussels -- The European Commission has today adopted a proposal to the Council amending EU legislation on the distribution of catnip. Current legislation allows catnip to be distributed by licensed feline pharmaceutical representatives only. The Commission's proposal would effectively ban the distribution of catnip for personal use. While there are currently no limits on the quantity of catnip an individual cat can purchase, the proposed ammendment would limit this quantity to the amount needed to fill one toy mouse, at the same time tightening regulations for the licensing of catnip distributors.

According to researchers, catnip is similar to the perennial herb, Nepeta cateria, a member of the mint family. This herb has been known to cause hallucinations among felines who are exposed to large quantities of the substance. Nepetalactone, the primary chemical in catnip, can trigger oral, visual, and olfactory hyper-sensitivity in certain cats. It is not known to have any similar effect upon human beings, although it is unadvisable to smoke catnip in an attempt to "get high." (Studies have shown that there is a negative statistical correlation, although not a causal relationship, between human intelligence and attempts to smoke catnip.)

Advocates of the Commission's proposal claim that catnip is a "gateway drug" to other "harder substances" such as Liver Pate. However, the drug is not known to be addictive and there have been no documented long-term side effects.

The European Association for the Promotion of Cat's Rights has been a prominent actor in the discussion surrounding the Commission's controversial proposal. Members of the Dutch delegation have been especially outspoken, promoting a policy of tolerance (gedoogbeleid) regarding Community Capnip policy. The Dutch consider catnip to be a "soft drug" and advocate making catnip publically available on a large-scale. (On a side note, the Netherlands Board of Tourism is currently marketing an advertising campaign aimed at attracting catnip tourists from other EU countries with more restrictive catnip policies.)

The Swedish feline contingency, on the other hand, has suggested stricter regulations, proposing a state monopoly on the sale of catnip, with restrictive opening hours and high taxes. The Danish representative, Musse Rasmussen, supports the Swedish proposal "in principle," but stated that the regular use of catnip will continue to be permitted among cats residing in the Kristiania enclave of Copenhagen.

The British cats are expected to veto the proposal on the grounds that it restricts the "free flow of catnip" across the Union. The French felines are, not unexpectedly, concerned with patenting the name "menthe aux chats," claiming that the herb originates in a province in the south of France.

Several catnip experts from the United States have been invited to speak before the Commission. Several American studies have looked at individual U.S. states that have introduced "progressive regulations" regarding the use of catnip for medicinal purposes. Washington State, for example, has permitted felines to grow catnip at home for personal use, placing restrictions only upon the "possession of catnip with intent to sell."

Editor's Note: This post is dedicated to Stefan Geens. Alternative headline: "Cat blogger, my ass."

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have nothing against cats, and think it was a pretty good idea to give a cat his/her own blog, but I also have to say that there is a striking (or is that baffling, or disconcerting?) general tendency among female bloggers to yak on endlessly about their cats, usually with ample illustrations for the intetrested (or not) public.

What's the deal here? Like I said just now, I like cats myself, though I do not own one, but how to explain this apparent fixation? I can't really think of any similar one for us guys. Can anyone else?

Anyway, 'twas my tuppence on the subject.

PS For us in the D Cheney Fan Club, did you see Jon Stewart (Daily Show of Feb 8, on Canal + yesterday) compare him, slouching behind W during the SOTU recently, to an old "pre" guy in an erectile dysfunction ad? Tee hee.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous lizardek said...

hilarious!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

This post is great! Urkul!

And anonymous - it's perfectly natural to blog about things you love - and cats to their owners belong to those things! Besides, cats are wonderful sources of material becuase they are so cute and so much fun! :)

10:59 AM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

anonymous, your reasoning was precisely the reason that Ullrick has his own blog. if you want to read it, than you can, and Kommissarie Curiosa doesn't get too watered down. However, I'll admit that sometimes I can't resist.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Komissarie Felina Curiosa: Feline curiosity killed the cat.

-TobbeJ

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Bitis said...

Interesting reading! Are there any demonstrations or other action planned against this proposal?

Anonymous: I am a cat, and first let me say that I have nothing against humans in general or male humans in particular, but I have noted that there is a fixation among many male bloggers about sports and politics. There are for instance several blogs that only write about soccer.

Also, not only females blog about cats. I have my own site dedicated to pictures of me, and my web slave is definitely male.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Stefan Geens said...

Funny, I was thinking only yesterday that this blog is not unlike catnip for Swedish men.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, the idea of a Catnipbolaget is a bit creepy.

/Rydberg

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, that was supposed to be Kattmyntbolaget...

/R

6:30 PM  

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