I have just watched BBC’s Countryfile and its report on glyphosate. I do, at least, give credit to the producers for attempting to give a balanced view of the situation. I have to add that I do have a problem with currently and apparently increasingly disparaging views about what is often called “modern farming”.
What those with no reasonable education appear to fail to realise is that all, ALL, technology, all practical situations, all not-doing –something, have plusses and minuses. There is no such thing as a perfect world. There is no situation without a downside. Part of that report on the BBC programme did say that the sunlight is carcinogenic. It certainly is. Some people choose to lie in sunlight and skin cancers have trebled in the last 20 years. Similarly, most of the things round us are potentially rally dangerous if we do not manage them wisely. What the BBC programme did not do was show anyone who could indicate hard evidence that glyphosate was definitely liked to cancer. One definition of safely might be that if it is safer than sunlight, safer than beer, then why get upset about it?
Some can remember food rationing in the UK. Today, more than half of the world is under-nourished and the proportion is increasing. Logically, in a democracy, there should be no problem with people who want to produce food without glyphosate and no problem with people who want to buy that food. Provided, that is, they do not knock something which is commercial competition unless they can put hard evidence against it.
At the end of all this, yet again, never mind being dreamy fluffy about the countryside and GB plc, we have to produce to afford our NHS, care for the elderly , our welfare system and all the other things we value. All of these really do depend on production, profits, taxation.
By the way, I have been working with spray chemicals all my life, I have never seen any evidence which might make me consider not feeding food grown with glyphosate to my wife and children. If anyone is willing and able to show me some hard evidence that I am wrong, I will be very willing to listen.
Land Research Ltd 24 July 2016
W R Butterworth BScHons (AgSci), CEnv, CM, FIAgrE, FCILT, FCIM, MCIoJ, MASABE, FCInstWM, MBSSS, MIPSS