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Science is not infallible and it should not always inform farming policy

John Gibbons of An Taisce tells us that we must use science to inform policy (Irish Examiner, January 11).

I don’t trust scientists and academics because 50 years ago at night agricultural classes were were told about phosphate fixation in the soil and how it renders the phosphate unavailable to the plant.

Now they tell us that it is locked out of the soil and polluting our rivers and lakes.

And of course, before that, esteemed geography minds claimed that the world was flat. They got that very wrong indeed.

So why should we automatically believe them now? Maybe they are getting it wrong on climate change as well?

Alan Mathews was always against farmers and farming. He was sneering at us during the Tiger years that we only produce 2 or 3% of GDP, conveniently ignoring the fact that GDP was bloated by rapidly rising pay and house prices and, of course, our export prices were inflated through transfer pricing.

And we should remember that farm produce prices are kept artificially low by the supermarkets.

Sixty years ago a gallon of milk would buy 10 Examiners, so now the gallon of milk should make €20.00 to maintain the same ratio.

On the other hand maybe the Irish Examiner should only cost 15 cent? But is that possible?

Thomas Herlihy





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