As a farmer I used the following criteria to
evaluate the question. (I've summarised for
How does it affect the ecosystem?
****Given my best information, using Roundup
is better than using the other chemicals that
would be used (proven hazardous qualities)
or fallowing, and doesn't have
irreversible consequences. Pass.
Does it address the weak link in my production
system, which I judge to be weed control?
*****Given my best information, using Roundup
tolerant canola provides the best solution for
my weed control problems. Pass, subject to
Does it address the cause of the problem, rather
than a symptom?
****Doubtful, RT canola is definitely a "quick
fix" rather than a long term solution. But
a total reorientation of my production system
is a risky, costly, slow process,which I judge can't
be implemented next season. Reluctant pass.
Is this the most cost effective solution to
the weak link (weed problem).
****Given my analysis of the costs/benefits
this solution has the same cost, with more
effective results. Were it not for Monsanto's
outrageous licensing fees the c/b ratio would
be better. Pass
Is this an expenditure that uses capital
generated from the productivy of the farm
(i.e. directly from renewable solar energy)
or is it capital that is borrowed from the
future. Does it build infrastructure on my
farm that will provide me with future wealth.
****No on both counts. Fail. Fail.
Is this consistent with my own goals/beliefs?
***Not really. But it's better than the
alternatives that I am likely to undertake.
Partial pass. (continue to work on sustainable
Is this socially acceptable/responsible?
****This the toughest one, because the
issue is very complex, trading off benefits
which are potentially large, but speculative,
against risks that are also largely speculative.
Of the options that are realistically available to me
I judge that this is better for society as a whole
(this time only!) than other solutions (fallowing,
alternate chemicals, preharvest Round-up,
moving to eliminate chemical inputs immediately,)
Provisional pass. Keep looking at the issue.
People who recognise this decision making
system will recognise imperfections in the way
I've applied it. I'm working on it. :-)
Bye for now
Lougheed Alberta Canada