Is biological farming quackery ?

Dan Powell

Member
Location
Shropshire
I have recently employed Soil Fertility Services to work for me on a consultancy basis. They've done some thorough soil "audits" and I'm hoping to improve my soils with their help over the next few years. They seem like thoroughly decent professional people.

I'm all for getting my soils more biologically active and I have an open mind about how this can be done using soil conditioners such as bio-mulch and I'm even willing to believe that there is a future in spraying compost tea and bacteria-based products as fungicides....

BUT BUT BUT...

Page 52 of their booklet says the following:

"In the universal scheme of things, there lies somewhere between energy and matter, submicroscopic energy particles called somatids. Somatids do not have any DNA or RNA, yet they maintain a kind of "genetic memory" as they develop. The somatid is considered indestructible because it has survived temperatures of 1000 degrees centigrade and millions and rads of radiation.

"When an animal, plant or microbe cell is functioning properly and is properly nourished, the somatids live through a simple and enegetic three phase cycle. This three phase cycle apparently has a function..... blah blah blah

"These indestructible energy masses have been concentrated into a lower level energy mass waiting to be awakened by the forces of the universe, to revitalise the life cycle here on earth."

A quick google search reveals that Gaston Naessens, the discoverer of somatids (using his whizz bang "dark field microscope"), is a quack, widely discredited and...

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/714x.html
In 1967, the American Cancer Society published a detailed report on its investigation of Naessens [3]. The report stated:
  • Naessens had proposed two treatments for cancer and leukemia. The first called G.N. 24, was found by a Swiss pharmacist to contain mineral salts and methylene blue. The second, called Anablast, attracted worldwide attention in 1963 when Naessens used it to treat a 4-year old boy.
  • Although Naessens claimed to have studied biology at the University of Lille, the school records fall to verify this.
  • In 1956, Naessens was convicted of illegally practicing medicine. He was fined 300,000 old francs and made to pay 600,000 old francs to the doctors' "ordre" and "syndicat." After that, made it a condition that a doctor should administer his treatment.
  • In 1964, Naessens agreed to a test of Anablast by Professor Pierre Denoix, Director of the Gustave-Roussy Institute at Villejuif, France. Denoix concluded that Naessens was mistaken in the premise on which the serum was based, and that an investigation of cases of cancer and leukemia treated with Anablast bad proved that the serum had no therapeutic value. (In every allegedly successful case Denoix was able to investigate, the patient had first received standard therapy.) Soon afterward, Naessens was indicted for practicing medicine and pharmacy illegally [4].
  • Denoix reported that the particles he had seen were well known by hematologists to be products of red-cell disintegration. He also concluded that microorganisms that Naessens cultivated were the result of secondary contamination of the material studied.
NOW...

Am I being led down the garden path? I'm happy to think outside the box, but I still like to base my reasoning on sound science not discredited rubbish. Or am I misunderstanding the inclusion of this pseudoscience in their otherwise informative booklet?
 

Fred

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Mid Northants
As Clive says , yes and no, it seems to me that sometimes that to make sense stuff is made far too complicated, but on general the ideas correct, I have a feeling though that some of it is based along the lines of anti big pharma, eg if something is made by the big chemical companies it is wrong ,

They use the the phrase " well they would say that wouldn't they"in other words insinuating that the big companies are out to con you, this phrase has become a catch all anti technology, anti chemical mantra,

However some of these bio companies are peddling nothing more than coloured water, remember the mineral nutrient industry is not regulated,

However having said that most of the biological guys are generally intelligent , well meaning, and have the best intentions,
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
I think it's a mix of some sound science and some complete rubbish !

Agreed. There's a lot of sense in it....but beware anybody who has a vested interest and is also trying to sell you their wonder product. Equally, if you haven't got the basics right there's no point worrying too much about correcting/paying too much attention to the minor aspects of your soil.
 

marco

Member
Anyone that uses the word magic should be treated with a bag of salt. I'm reading kinseys book at the moment, and everything he says he gives scientific reasons for what he says and makes it understandable for the lay man. If you want some "magic" trow some molasses into the spray tank.:pompous:
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Anyone that uses the word magic should be treated with a bag of salt. I'm reading kinseys book at the moment, and everything he says he gives scientific reasons for what he says and makes it understandable for the lay man. If you want some "magic" trow some molasses into the spray tank.:pompous:

Using molasses in all our n applications this year - cheap and can surely only be a good thing
 

Andy Howard

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Ashford, Kent
Simple sugar - every living thing needs sugar

Red bull for my bugs !

Can't recall rate, detail is in my office

You can overdo molasses. Can not remember the exact amounts needed. The problem is it can cause microbe population explosion which can then collapse like population explosions do and you are worse off than when started. I would speak to Mike Harrington. He has a product called N-balancer which is for liquid N and he would know the do and donts. I think he recommends 5l/ha of product each time you spray
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
You can overdo molasses. Can not remember the exact amounts needed. The problem is it can cause microbe population explosion which can then collapse like population explosions do and you are worse off than when started. I would speak to Mike Harrington. He has a product called N-balancer which is for liquid N and he would know the do and donts. I think he recommends 5l/ha of product each time you spray

From memory I think it is 5l/ha we are using

How can I get in contact with Mike Harrington - I would like to speak with him about it
 

Barleycorn

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Hampshire
Mike's not gone to the colonies yet, but generally goes to the ACRES conference. He is my agronomist. His contact numbers are on the Edaphos website as posted.
 
Whilst compost tea and other stuff has its merits I think if you can keep building OM using covers, residues, muck/compost as well as no tilling and trafficiing sensibly I think you can achieve the vast majority of the aims/ benefits of biological activity to start with at least without having to spend money on externals, which less face it, do cost.

That's how nature does it.
 

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