One of the more curious features of modern life is seeing such phrases as “only contains real ingredients.” A recent example of this is a weed killer that is apparently “herbicide-free”.
Now, how do we define a herbicide? Here is how MacMillan define it: “a chemical used for killing weeds”. All rather curious. According to this definition a herbicide-free weed killer would be incapable of killing weeds. Fortunately Ben Goldsmith, one of the projects bank rollers, has informed us that it is a “chemical free weed killer.”
A chemical and herbicide free “weed killer.” If this is not the definition of snake oil I do not know what is not. Not that I imagine it is that bad, the Goldsmiths are a notoriously scientifically illiterate bunch after all. But perhaps the scientists behind the scheme could choose more rational backers. And perhaps we can actually improve our education system so that people like Goldsmith, who apparently went to Eton, one of Britain’s top “public” schools, from making fools out of themselves.