Environmental value transfer needs to be understood in the context of scientific information use in general. This provides a different perspective upon the reasons why benefit transfer in particular appears so controversial and raises concerns over the limited types of validity testing being undertaken by those supporting such applications as ecosystem services valuation. Another key issue, which we emphasise, is the unintentional challenge to standard economic theory raised by the models used to conduct value transfers. Existing value transfer practice reveals the need for a more inclusive approach if environmental values are to be addressed. We argue that there are robust alternative means for including multiple environmental values in decision processes, these cannot be dismissed out of hand, and analysts should be expanding their understanding of the available approaches which include attitude and norm measures, multi-criteria analysis and participatory deliberative institutions.