Some scientists and others believe their critics are anti-science. That makes them self-appointed spokespersons for the science community. It is the scientist’s ego and ignorance that is the problem, not the science.
We have been and are being lied to by government, politicians, corporations, institutions, news media, marketers, doctors and scientists. Misrepresentation seems to be the norm. Use of a true statement is often designed to confound their critics and the general public.
One such statement, “It’s not the urea, it’s the urine that’s the problem,” is a blatant example. The equation is simple; more urea applied to dairy farms, the more the cows urinate. (More urea also ends up in the milk.) The sellers of urea perpetuate the myth that farmers production will suffer without it. Never mind much of it is polluting our waterways and being flushed out to sea, or into the atmosphere. We are not against responsible use of nitrogen. But the environment is overloaded with it and that has to change.
In a trial in its third year between a farm on the Albrecht system of soil fertility and a chemically fertilised farm near Methven, the Albrecht farm is 139 kg/ha ahead (as at 15/03/17) in production than the chemical one. The cows are producing 1.84 kg/ha v 1.58 on a daily basis. Nitrogen usage is 84 kg/ha as SOA and DAP v 123 of urea.
The advantage to the Albrecht farm has only just started. (Just watch the funding dry up now.) Imagine what the potential would be if all farms adopted the Albrecht approach; the approach that “doesn’t work” according to numerous critics. Environmental pollution would certainly improve. This trial was criticised by a soil chemist for not being “replicated” and therefore of no value. Doesn’t he want the truth? Does he want random replication and double-blind to boot? We know the results would be even better if there was biological representation on the committee, but it is left to the chemical brains to decide, and they clearly don’t appreciate the differences required.
Another aspect is food. Scientists measure the nutrition of food and make statements comparing one with the other, again leaving out crucial information. The pasteurisation of milk and yogurt springs to mind. A scientist stated. “There are insignificant differences between the two.” The part that is left out is the once living food has been killed. Our gut needs correct bacteria for us to be healthy. 80% of our immune system is in our gut. The point of eating yogurt is to get the bacteria for our health. Well it used to be; now it is largely an unhealthy lolly experience for children. Pasteurisation is a convenient tool used so certain foodstuffs can be marketed and kept for extended periods; it has nothing to do with improving quality for the consumer. For most foodstuffs we know the government is refusing to require country of origin labelling, and we know that is not for the consumers’ benefit.
The Environment Minister, Nick Smith, pushes GMO using emotional blackmail as his argument. Dr Smith said the “government was acting because it was worried local councils would stop important medical trials that use GMO technology from going ahead ---.” Rubbish; what a poor excuse. (Currently, the courts have backed the councils.) There is not a modicum of evidence that GMO organisms are safe. In fact there is a plethora of evidence that GM feedstuffs fed to animals cause serious organ damage and cancerous tumours, resulting in premature death. Yes, we need more definition around GMO and GE.
In the USA, scientists devised GMO corn to beat insects such as corn rootworm, a beetle larva. Now the rootworm has overcome the GMO problem and has devastated large areas of corn in some states. Scientists told the farmers to plant GMO corn in conjunction with a soybean rotation. The rootworms simply learnt to eat the soybeans. That same beetle was accidentally exported to Europe, where it is not a problem as the agricultural scene is more traditional. That includes more realistic crop rotations and non-GMO crops. They have a similar problem in Brazil, but with a different insect. When will GMO and chemical scientists stop believing they are wiser than nature itself?