Information and knowledge

Agressive information based on insufficient knowledge or limited perspectives is worse than weeds in a garden. Two actual examples  in Sweden:

“There are poisonous heavy metals in child food”.  How terrible and whose fault is it?

The truth is that all basic elements are present in almost everything. Cadmium, mercury and arsenic are found also in the most virgin and pure of vegetable products. It is all about content.

“Heavy metals in sludge are not taken up by the crop, according to 30 years experiments”. Consequently sludge can safely be used.

This is not untrue, but a very limited truth. Small additions during a limited time (decades) may drown in the variation of analytical values and no significant differences are found. But it does not mean that the practice is sustainable and should continue. Of course, a question is: shall we care about our grandchildren. It is their fault to be born so late. We have no problems (but we have some slight economic advantages).

My view is that the conditions we used in Hydro/Yara during the 1990s still is a good model:

1. Is the element or substance harmful for health och soil life?

2. Is it accumulated in the soil so that the soil content continually will increase?

3. Is the applied amount high enough to increase the soil content by more than 10% in 100 years?

If the answer is “yes” for all 3 points we have a problem to solve.

30 years is not enough for general propaganda. Those results say that during this time not much happens. But for grandchildren and sustainability we need to consider the mechanisms and widen the time perspectives and make conclusions from that base.

 

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