Irish magic water for crops? Be VERY skeptical

Red flags all over the place on this one. Doubtful is a not a strong enough word for this claim.

Wave goodbye to global warming, GM and pesticides – Independent.ie.

A GROUNDBREAKING new Irish technology which could be the greatest breakthrough in agriculture since the plough is set to change the face of modern farming forever.

The technology – radio wave energised water – massively increases the output of vegetables and fruits by up to 30 per cent.

Not only are the plants much bigger but they are largely disease-resistant, meaning huge savings in expensive fertilisers and harmful pesticides.

Extensively tested in Ireland and several other countries, the inexpensive water treatment technology is now being rolled out across the world. The technology makes GM obsolete and also addresses the whole global warming fear that there is too much carbon dioxide in the air, by simply converting excess CO2 into edible plant mass.

This story reads like an advertisement. But one thing is BLATANTLY MISSING. There are no cited journals for the “research”. Has it been published? If this is such an outstanding breakthrough, with amazing results, this deserves to be published.

A quick glance shows this is NOT new and has never been reported in a journal according to this page on Wonky water.

And the page for documentation of such a device shows they they have their own research, not independently verified. Untrustworthy to say the least. Maybe they are fishing for gullible investors?

Energizing water with radio waves is nonsense. You can make this at home – just microwave your water. The radio waves don’t stick around. The only thing of interest I saw mentioned was nitrogen. Nitrogen is a fertilizer but it’s not naturally in water which is only made up of hydrogen and oxygen and some traces of other things. There is ZERO evidence this would do any of what it claims – make water ‘wetter’, increase pest resistance, germinate faster. Those are some mighty huge claims and one fancy article in the newspaper does not count as proof of a breakthrough.

Be skeptical.

Tip: @P_Trussell on Twitter

  15 comments for “Irish magic water for crops? Be VERY skeptical

  1. August 31, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Man alive, that’s a thoroughly weird article. As an ignorant layman who has precious little scientific knowledge, the story sounds outrageously implausible. The Irish Independent is (supposedly anyway) a paper of some weight; and yet it concludes with this – “Intriguingly, chickens and sheep fed the energised water turned into giants. . . but that’s another story!”

    This blog ( http://tinyurl.com/oltx55k ) asks a reasonable question – Has Ireland’s Biggest Newspaper Lost Its Mind? – and among other points in the comments a contributor says he gained the following response from Kew Gardens:

    “Thank you for your email dated 29 August. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has not endorsed the Vi-Aqua products since 2009. A recent press article in the Irish Independent that mentioned this endorsement and activities by Kew around it, was inaccurate.”

  2. Lisa Barth
    August 31, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Well, it sounds sciencey.

  3. Chris Howard
    August 31, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    I drink a lot of Irish magic water, and I can say that after five shots the experiment begins to go double-blind, and the results are usually better than expected.

    I also drink Kentucky, and Tennessee magic water, and must say that my research indicates striking similarities between them. This is despite geographical differences, and chronological bottling order.

    This weekend I will be testing magic water from Mexico, and Scotland. I shall publish my results shortly. ;-)

    • November 9, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      I want to hear more about your water experiments Chris… :)

  4. August 31, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    This sounds a lot like “structured” water, which is supposed to be a cure-all.

  5. One Eyed Jack
    August 31, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Next on the market, Energy Balance bracelets for corn stalks.

  6. Nos482
    August 31, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Secret ingredient: ground up leprechauns.

    I call Bullshit on this one.

  7. eddi
    September 1, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    There is a time to be skeptical and there is time to stand there and scream, “Are You People F***ing Nuts?” Sorry.

  8. Chris Howard
    September 1, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    (Update) I am happy to report that my magic water experiments have begun, and they are looking promising! ;-)

  9. September 2, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    I broke this story in Ireland and I’ve been following it over the last few days. Some updates here: (http://sunnyspells.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/austin-darraghs-magic-water-machine/)

    I’ve also just found a video of it in action. The demo takes place in the last minute. Magic Bomb-detectors anyone?

    http://kloptdatwel.nl/2013/09/02/vi-aqua-magisch-water-uit-ierland-laat-planten-sneller-groeien/

    And another plus: I’ve discovered the Dutch phrase for “fine sounding nonsense”: “Mooi klinkende nonsense”.

  10. Chris
    September 4, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    “Extensively tested in Warrenstown Agricultural College, the technology is being hailed as a modern day miracle.”

    That college shutdown in 2001.

  11. September 12, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Warrenstown Horticultural College students and staff transferred to the Botanic Gardens – linked with the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown – in 2008.

    The process was developed by Professor Austin Darragh and Dr JJ Leahy of Limerick University’s Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science and tested by Warrenstown in 1997/8, well before they were merged into the ITB.

    • September 12, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      So what? That tells us zero about how it works (or doesn’t).

  12. September 28, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) respondend to a Freedom of Information request and published the agreements they made with Vi~Aqua concerning endorsing their product. The first agreement was signed for three years in 2003 and it was renewed in 2006. RBG Kew states that they began a trial with the Vi~Aqua system in 2003 to see if the product might be an effective way to treat hardness in water. They tested several other systems as well and in the end they found that a water treatment system using reverse osmosis was more effective at treating the water than the Vi-Aqua system. RBG Kew stopped using the Vi-Aqua equipment as a result of this finding. The endorsement ended at the end of the three year term (in 2009).

    see https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/vi_aqua#incoming-434433 for the documents

    To me it seems rather odd that you agree to endorsing a product which you still have to put through rigorous tests even if you get it for free.

  13. Giovanni
    September 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Very well Pepijn, you got the point after all. Regards GM

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