Category Archives: Health managment

Fatberg at British Museum


The soil mycorrhiza are dramatically assisted by the addition of biosolids, thus reducing crop disease and crop spying.

The Guardian newspaper reported recently that the British museum is exhibiting part of a sewer-blocking fatberg that made headlines last year, weighing 130 tonnes, the equivalent of 11 double decker buses and stretching more than 250 meters, six meters longer than Tower Bridge. Said Vyki Sparkes, the curator of social and working history, “I don’t think you can get much lower than a fatberg … it reflects the dark side of ourselves”.

Fortunately, most of our sewage goes through very efficient sewage treatment works (STW’s) before the water is recycled to rivers and the sea.  The STW extracts the organic material and some of that is recycled to land to grow crops (“biosolids” are really good fertilisers which add trace elements and improve the biology and disease resistance of the soil, thus reducing crop disease). The real bogey is the solid plastic which goes to landfill. Yet again, it is hard plastic which is causing intractable environmental problems.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, February 2018

Soil trace elements and human health

We have the power and the technology. Do we have the micro components?

Common sense tells us that if we use manufactured mineral fertilisers to produce food, eventually, the soil store of trace elements will decline, followed by a decline in the harvested crop, followed by a decline in the health of th4e crop, followed by a decline in the intake of trace elements by humans, followed by a decline in the health of humans.

This common sense understanding of the loss of micro-nutrients in human diets has been shown many times and, again, recently by a paper on soil Selenium decline by Steve McGrath et al and reported in the current edition of The Auger, journal of the British Society of Soil Science.

What do we do about it?  See with government employing the BSSS nationally to monitor and guide on not too much and not too little.


Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd

UK Population Growth


Population growth will always result in adjustment. How much and when is predictable.

According to the UK government Office of National Statistics, UK population grew by 538,000 in 2017.  That is what we know about. That does not take into account the shift in skills or ethnicity. That makes Brexit an irrelevant diversion.

The Lilliputian antics of our elected politicians and the incompetence of the Civil Service in controlling the population growth will have fundamental and possibly catastrophic effects on everything from housing to Health Service, from skills supply to Welfare Services. In my own field, the possible contribution of recycling wastes to farmed land will, inevitably, get buried in a sea of regulation.

Where is the leadership? Read chapter 1 at and write to your MP asking for meaningful, urgent action.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 5 July 2017


Diesels and clean burn

It will take several human generations to move from internal combustion engines to electric drive. However, we could change maybe 90% of such engines to clean-burn shale gas in, say, 20 years.

All this fuss about diesel fumes if stretching the truth a bit too far.  Firstly, smoking and obesity are far greater evils, in terms of human health and death.  Secondly, modern, Euro 6 diesels do have more particulates in their emissions than latest design petrol engines but not much more and they produce around half the Carbon dioxide per mile.   Thirdly, never mind cars, what about trucks?  Go electric?  How long would it take to change 13 million cars over to electric drive? In any case, where do you think the electricity comes from?

There is a fast, clean alternative. It creates UK jobs and dramatically reduces imports.  Shale gas is a clean burn.

Land Research Ltd  23 April 17

P.S. “Survival – Sustainable Energy, Wastes, Shale Gas and The Land” by Bill Butterworth, published by Land Research, is available in paperback from good bookshops or Amazon on the web as paperback (at around £10) or electronic version (at only £2.46) for computer or Kindle. For the next couple of Sundays, it can be downloaded free at Kindle.

Importing food, doctors and nurses is theft.

George Bernard Shaw had an ageless wisdom which relates to farming food and producing our own shale gas.

George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying; “We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it, than to consume wealth without producing it.”

The same goes for food and, for that matter, doctors, nurses, shale gas and a lot more. Why not?  Simply that it is theft from elsewhere where at least the doctors and nurses may be needed more and if we do not control the supply, there is no security.   We need to swing back to make it in Britain, wherever possible and now.

Land Research    21 March 2017

Pollution in context

Book cover

Each one of us has a choice, individually, as to what we eat, how we exercise, where we live. have a cho

My first job, I hesitate to admit how long ago, was to take part in initiating the development and legal insistence to fit safety cabs to farm tractors – at the time we were killing 150 people a year in tractor accidents in the UK.  As a trained and qualified agricultural scientist and a Chartered Environmentalist, I would never wish to dismiss the risks we take in in farming, nor the risks we may pass on in the food we produce.  However, in the UK, we probably really do produce the safest food in the world.  I have no doubt that there will be some who argue with that but I heard on BBC News recently some interviews on pollution and lung diseases in which a professor, an internationally recognised authority and specialist in lung diseases, was asked about life-shortening risks.  He said that if you smoke, you will shorten your life by 15 years, if you are over-weight, you will shorten it by 10 years.  He added that if you smoke and are over-weight as well, then you will shorten your life by 30 years.  When asked how much you would shorten your life if you live in a city and breathe in traffic fumes, he said 30 days.

The point I make is this. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where most of us are able to make choices about what we eat, how we exercise, how we abuse our bodies. If you are one of many who complain about things here, go try it somewhere else.

Glyphosate and BBC

OSR 010

Crop production depends on a low weed population. Glyphosate is a low cost, safe wayt o achieve that.


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