18 June, 2018

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Banning Glyphosate For Political & Not Scientific Reasons

By Oliver A. Ileperuma

Prof. Oliver A. Ileperuma

Prof. Oliver A. Ileperuma

President Maithripala Sirsena has banned the use of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide purportedly on some reports that it causes the Rajarata kidney disease. It is not clear as to what these scientific reports are but this is widely believed to be the work of a group of researchers from the Rajarata University who have been changing their tune over the years from bio-terrorism, arsenic and finally glyphosate. None of the established research groups in the country have accepted this hypothesis because it cannot explain the geographic occurrence of this disease. Glyphosate is used in many agricultural areas of the country and it defies simple logic to understand why this disease is prevalent only in certain specific areas of Rajarata and non-existent in areas where it is heavily used. Nearly 10 years ago I put forward the hypothesis that it is excessive fluoride in these areas that is responsible for this disease but this has not been seriously considered perhaps because I do not have the political clout to push this idea.

The ban proclaimed by the President is I am sure due to political pressure exerted by interested individuals without taking into account the risks and the benefits of using this weed killer widely used in a number of countries without any adverse effects. Several years ago it was claimed that arsenic is responsible for this disease and when I refuted their claims based on scientific information, they openly labeled us as agents of the multinational companies importing pesticides. They even went to the extent of grinding chillies at the Seenigama Devalaya to curse a number of scientists who have opposed their pseudoscience and challenging their analytical data. Ven. Athuraliye Ratana thero was at the forefront of this campaign and I am sure that the Yahapalana government too has fallen prey to his antics. These groups who claim that divine attention of God Natha has shown them the way to solve this mystery disease, are at work again misleading the Government to take irresponsible decisions. There is absolutely no credible evidence to link glyphosate to kidney disease.

MaithripalaThis decision will be disastrous and eventually will lead to Sri Lanka having to import rice. I am not at all promoting the use of glyphosate and I would rather like to have all pesticides banned in Sri Lanka returning to traditional varieties of rice and using only compost fertilizer. In Sri Lanka labour shortages and their expense plays a vital role in sustaining agriculture. Glyphosate can be useful to poor farmers to overcome the heavy cost of labour and to send their children to school rather than hoe their fields. It also helps farmers to adopt soil conservation practices and prevent soil erosion. Our tea plantations are also plagued by labour shortages and applying glyphosate has been helpful to the tea industry. Therefore, there is little doubt that a total ban on glyphosate will adversely affect our economy.

Ban the glyphosate lobby got a boost when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) affiliated to the World Health organization (WHO) very recently claimed that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer. It is interesting to note that the same agency has reported that another possible carcinogen, acrylamide, found in coffee beans, potato chips and soya is a class 2(a) carcinogen. This agency classifies known carcinogens in group 1 and probable carcinogens in group 2a. Glyphosate is in group 2a along with beer, wood smoke, outdoor air pollution, hair dressing and even night shifts at the working place! Others like mobile phones, Wi-fi equipment too come under this category. People are not going to stop using mobile phones just because an isolated scientific study has shown their use linked to cancer. Similarly hairdressers who are exposed to carcinogenic dyes may probably develop cancer and what is important here is the awareness and taking suitable precautions.

According to the father of Pharmacology, Paracelsus, anything can be a poison and it is the amount that matters. What is required is the prudent use of pesticides and the state involvement in controlling the abuse of pesticides. It is again a matter of risk and benefits. Just about everything in life has risks and what is important is to weigh these risks sensibly against the benefits.

Thirty years ago the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States determined that glyphosate might cause cancer. Six years later, in 1991, they reversed this decision after re-evaluating their animal experiments. One piece of evidence that the WHO study cites is the same mouse study that the EPA found flawed.

In Sri Lanka we have a powerful lobby of pseudoscientists who seek cheap popularity by claiming to work against the multinational corporations for their own vested political interests. I refer to the group comprised of some so called scientists from the Kelaniya and Rajarata Universities who earlier were championing the role of arsenic in kidney disease, presumably owing to the divine intervention of God Natha. Now they have conveniently dropped arsenic and carry the “ban the glyphosate” slogan. History tells us about the damage of such pseudo-scientists do to the scientific community and society at large. One classic case is the work of the Russian agronomist Lysenko who had the blessings of Joseph Stalin and later Nikita Khrushchev. He rejected Mendelevian Genetics and took plant breeding in Russia back by about 30 years. It was only in the latter half of 1960’s that Russian scientists spoke against the pseudoscience created by him popularly called Lysenkoism. In 1964, physicist Andrei Sakharov spoke out against Lysenko in the General Assembly of the Academy of Sciences: “He is responsible for the shameful backwardness of Soviet biology and of genetics in particular, for the dissemination of pseudo-scientific views, for adventurism, for the degradation of learning, and for the defamation, firing, arrest, even death, of many genuine scientists.”

A few months later, a devastating critique of Lysenko was made public and as a result, Lysenko was immediately disgraced in the Soviet Union but the damage done to Science in Russia is phenomenal.

Another case study is the banning of DDT in the USA, again a political decision by Richard Nixon who sought to get the help of the Green movement which was gathering momentum in the United States. This movement arose after the epic release of the book The Silent Spring by Rachael Carson. Banning DDT was a populist move which Nixon wanted to harness to win the presidential election for a second term. While excessive consumption of DDT in food is harmful what would have been more practical is to impose strict control on its use. In Sri Lanka, we used DDT to eradicate Malaria while most of the African nations wilted under pressure from the US to ban it from their countries. As a result malaria is still prevalent in these African countries. Luckily Sri Lanka escaped from this ban and we are lucky to have a malaria free country today.

These two instances illustrate that political decisions are not always the desirable when it comes to banning pesticides and their effect on the society. In Sri Lanka, a political decision has been taken to ban glyphosate without giving serious consideration to its ramifications. There is absolutely no scientific basis for this ban and the link between glyphosate and kidney disease has not been firmly established. Also, this pesticide is linked to cancer and not kidney disease and there is no special prevalence of cancers in the endemic areas of the kidney disease compared to other regions of Sri Lanka. In imposing this ban, opinions of other independent research groups have not been sought.

At Peradeniya there is a group of scientists comprised of doctors, geologists and chemists including the doctor who discovered this disease who have worked on this problem since its inception in 2002. A large number of research publications have arisen from this work while The Rajarata group commenced this work only in more recent times and most of their work is published in open access journals which publish anything for the payment of a fee. The government should have had a proper consultation with all stakeholders, particularly scientists who have toiled hard for more than a decade before making important decisions which will affect the future of agriculture in the country and the risk of importing rice again to the country.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    3

    Glyphosate has been found toxic to humans.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate#Scientific_fraud

    • 4
      6

      sugar is also a poison to Humans

      • 1
        0

        how can compare apples with oranges ? But the idiots of your kind can do so since u seem to have the least idea about the universal Herbicide that have now affected almost to every living being since they have been using it everywhere as round up.

        My granny has always resounded, if we dont know the topic, it is worth to stay rather than showing the level of stupidity. But all these are not valid to Rajaakshes or his die heart supporters of your kind Abhaya

    • 12
      8

      This Ileperuma person seems to represent the worst of the pathetic situation with the so-called “science” these days.

      The Americn Science that is being promoted by people like Ileperuma is nothing more than part of the marketing campaign of multinationals (MNC)imposing everything from manufactured food to agrochemicals on ignorant, gullible people in poor countries.

      These so-called “scientists” who back such criminal activity obviously know which side their bread is buttered and they keep on providing the so-called “science” to back up the MNC murderous campaigns of the poor around the world.

      Ileperuma’s fraudulent view about science is displayed in his rejection of the Rajarata University research apparently because they “are not “accepted” by none of the established research groups”.

      This comment shows the man is an MNC agent who seems to be hiding the basic tenet of scientific research that “a theory may only be falsified by testing against evidence or known facts” – and not by endorsement of other groups “accepted” or othersise.

      All available evidence eery day points to the causative relationship between agrochemicals including glyphosate and rampant kidney disease in the NCP. Rejection of the theory by Ileperumas of this world does nothing to deny this fact.

      It is time the so-called scientists like Ileperuma stop playing the pipe for their own “bada weduma” at the expense of the poor farmers in the NCP.

      They need to think about a “conscience transplat”.

      • 4
        1

        All available evidence eery day points to the causative relationship between agrochemicals including glyphosate and rampant kidney disease in the NCP.

        You are right but at the same time wrong too.

        The Glyphosate does cause Kidney disease when its not used as directed in large amounts and when it seeps into the water table.

        As the guy said, its used in other parts of the island without a problem.

        Glyphosate being abused by certain farmers in NCP probably looking for quick fixes for weed. Because of these minority of farmers most others have lost access to a useful tool they can use in own production.

      • 6
        3

        Scientist is obviously lost about my contention that glyphosate is not linked to kidney disease which was there long before glyphosate came into use. What I attempted to portray is the judicious use of all agrochemicals. At the time of independence our population was only 6.7 million and the life expectancy was only 50 years. We need agrochemicals to sustain our agriculture to feed an ever increasing population.There is absolutely no scientific evidence to show that glyphosate causes kidney disease and the WHO report is about cancer. I am no agent of MNCs but only guided by scientific truth and the knowledge gained from my long association working with this disease. Even automobile exhaust fumes have cancer causing agents and it is preferable to stay away from large cities. What is required is a careful analysis of the risks and the benefits of any issue including pesticides.
        I can give facts but not the brains!

        • 4
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          [Edited out] says that kidney disease existed long before glyphosate use!. Do you think the people of Sri Lanka are so gullible to believe such bullshit?

          If you have evidence, present them without resorting to questioning the credibility of those who oppose your corrupt view on the issue. The Rajarata or Kelaniya reserach need not be “acceptable” to you on any other grounds than on your ability to falsify them, That is the scientific principle you seem to be corruptly ignoring. If you can falsify them.

          You [Edited out]

          • 2
            0

            Scientist, You are out of line. Dr. Illeperuma is quite right when he says CKDu existed before introduction of Glyphosate. Just look up research history in to the disease. Scientists do not rush to conclusions emotionally charged. They investigate on scientific lines. Then only can they arrive at conclusive decisions. That is why Dr. Illeperuma defends Glyphosate here; because there is no scientific evidence so far and not for the reasons you allude.If you are truly a ‘Scientist’ you need to have the capacity to counter arguments scientifically without losing your cool. Note that Dr. Jayasumana’s hypothesis though well meant is not scientific proof.

            Having been an lifelong agriculturist closely following research, I have noticed that the following factors have been blamed, among perhapsa many others.

            1. Cyanide in the soil and water
            2. Fluoride in the soil and water
            3. Cadmium
            4. Agrochemicals such as Glyphosate
            5. Exhaustion of ground water levels, and well water access reaching the sub surface rock and toxic substances there.
            6. Consumption of illicit alcohol
            7. Toxic substances from agrochemicals washed down from up country with the run off.

            There may be others.

            Dr.Illepruma is a respected scientist who does not have to prove his credentials to any one. The name calling and abusive tone of “Scientist” is uncalled for and reflects poorly on his attitude to scientific thought, research and analysis.

            The present ban on Glyphosate is unfortunate and will need to be reviewed soon to prevent a drastic effect on agricultural production. What needs to be done instead is to get the government to initiate an indepth study, if not already done.

            • 0
              0

              In this contest cant you all set a standard experiment to exclude the so called chemical out of the seen .so that people can use it if found to be safe of course the companies who wannt to sell it fund it without a dought if they are so clear on this.

    • 1
      1

      Glyphosate has been found harmful to humans. Leipziger Prof. Rüger has proved the substance to be found almost everyone’s urine these days. But these developed countries almost hold on the systems so that the levels that end up in drinking water to be minimized while the countries such as ours and Latin american and afro countries have no proper systems to maintaion so. Statistics do prove for the last two decades alone the levels thatlanken waters in affected areas contain more heavy metals than had been before. And in the same time, we perfectly know that Glyphosat has been introduced to agro farmers also for the last 2 decades. All what the researchers postulate is there should be some interactions between the heavy metals found in waters with Glyphosate molecules. So these complexes should be the main reason to damage the kidneys of the farming community. There are publications that produces these days however, Jayasumana et al or others have not succeeded to prove the direct relation between Glyphosat and heavy metals. In Germany, and Denmark it was reported that cattle in some farms found dead unexpectedly.. these cattle anaylses had proved the high contents of glyphosate.
      In the world today, there are two groups of researchers – that work on Glyphosat research to learn more about the relation -Monsanto spend billions prove the other way around since the agro manufaturer would have to loose multi billions when the day arrives that the levels of injriousness of Glyphosat is proved. Hope the day is nearing. However, it is a bold decision and the educated communities would respect MY3 to have taken the actions against Glyphosat that early even if Eco friendly Germans continue fighting to get this banned in Germany —-this year.

    • 1
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      I’m not saying Glyphosate is not toxic. But Wikipedia is not a credible source of reference.

  • 9
    2

    Glyphosate has been found to be toxic even in small amounts, in USA.

    http://naturalsociety.com/americans-suffering-chronic-disease-due-glyphosate-herbicides-new-study/

  • 8
    1

    Monsanto – the company which manufactures and markets weedicide Roundup containing glyphosate, KNEW OF THE DANGERS of the substance, to humans.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-knew-of-glyphosate-cancer-link-35-years-ago/5443741

  • 8
    3

    [Edited out] this piece of 100% pure BS? Could it be MONSANTO, makers of Glyphosate? Wouldn’t be any news, they payed the former regime millions in order to keep on spreading tons of their venominal stuff all over this beatiful isle.

    Your claim Sri Lanka will turn into a barren land without the use of this highly toxic herbicide is complete nonsense – and you should know it, the “professor” you are. How much for a lie like that? Ey?

    B.t.w.: Isn’t Sri Lanka home to Ayurveda? Hasn’t that to do with herbs? So, why the heck should they use western chemical poison (herbicide) to kill the herbs they work with?

    There are loads of ways to provide plants with the kind of food they need and also lots of ways of protecting them – without chemically killing the soil they grow on and in the end yourself.

    [Edited out]

  • 5
    3

    Toxic at WHAT DOSAGES?
    Everything is toxic if large amounts are taken. Rondup(Gyphosate) is used all over Sri lanka and there is chronic form of kindey disease ONLY is the North central province.

  • 7
    3

    Just a quick google check shows up many postings/articles that say Gyphosate is toxic. I support President’s order to ban.

    After is it not it better err on the side caution when people’s life are at stake?

  • 8
    6

    The commercial brand name for this product is “Roundup”. Its very effective at the same time highly toxic too.

    Its successfully used in developed countries where the farmers have been educated to use within the guidelines.

    This is typical mentality in Ceylon. When bank robberies take place using full face helmets – they ban the helmet. When the incompetent farmer abuses the weedkiller – they ban the weedkiller.

    So the bank robber and the incompetent farmer carries on with their bad habits using other products.

  • 2
    2

    We are a proud democratic nation. We will decide everything by a 50%+1 vote even if that will kill us off.

    Let’s hold a referendum with the morons and all participating. Let’s enforce the decision to ban glyfowhatever, even should that wipe off Sri Lanka’s agriculture.

    Long live democracy! The people including Oliver can go to hell!

    Jayawewa!!!

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

    Please write instead of posting links – CT

  • 1
    0

    The president has banned totally the import and usage of glyphosate. Why does the Daily News describe it as a “limitation of the import of glyphosate”?

    Would it not be better to also ban the SELLING of this poison? The way it appears to be now is that existing glyphosate can be legally sold. Who will stop the farmers from using it?

    “Limitation of the import of Glyphosate pesticide and usage

    The scientists who carry out research on the renal diseases prevailing in many parts of the country have pointed out that the use of pesticides, weedicides and chemical fertilizer could be contributing to this situation. Accordingly the government has already banned the import and usage of four identified chemical fertilizer and pesticides. In addition to this President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to totally ban the import and usage of Glyphosate pesticide. The Cabinet approved this decision taken by the President.”

    http://dailynews.lk/?q=political/cabinet-decisions-29052015

  • 2
    4

    Oliver…you seems to be outdated as to the toxicity of Glyphosate. At least Ven Ratana Thero proved with research done in recognized laboratories in Malaysia and USA that the kidney disease has a direct link to such pesticides.What have you done to prove scientifically if it is not? Best alternate is for you to consume Glyphosate in small quantities for next 10 years (with proof of course) and do a kidney test yourself and prove it to the public that glyphosate has not done any harm to your kidneys.Don’t be a mouth piece for MNC’s and start thinking of the poor farming community falling pray to these mafia MNC’s propaganda.

  • 3
    5

    “….published in open access journals which publish anything for the payment of a fee.”

    This is not true. Open access does not mean you can publish any material. Nowadays, almost all international journals go through rigorous peer-review process. Only if the paper is passed that stage, it is conditionally selected for publications with or without corrections according to the quality of the paper. If the paper is published Open access, it can be downloaded from internet without any fee by anybody. Therefore, the publisher is not benefited to cover the cost of publishing. Under Open access, that cost is charged by authors. The advantage for authors for publishing open access is that their paper opens to wider public and researchers. Then the paper gets more citation in other studies. If you publish your paper, under subscription method, then the paper can be downloaded only by subscribers. As the reader pays subscription fee, the author does not need to pay any fee for such publications. Then the circulation of your paper is limited. We need more citations for papers. Nowadays, many international journals go open access method so that their journals get more publicity.

    This professor tries to devalue open access publication because he does not know what it is. According to his web page of the University of Peradeniya, he has five publications. The most recent one is in 2009. Two papers have only 4 pages each. One is a just one page. Another is with 7 pages. One has only accepted for publication since 2010. It is not updated whether it is published or not. Out of 5 publications, two are local journals. I cannot imagine how he became a professor.

    I am just doing a PhD at a foreign University. I have 7 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Number of pages in each paper are, 18, 15, 14, 7, 6, 5, and 3. There are more than 20 publications with one or two pages. Out of all these abstracts and papers, only a few are locally published. I am telling about my papers because reader can get a comparative idea of a Snr. Professor in Sri Lanka and a PhD student in a European country, in terms of number of papers published.

    I would like to ask you kindly not to devalue open-access publications to realize your ulterior motives to serve multi nationals, because they are not papers just published by paying Money. I have seen you try to defend interests of multi-nationals whenever they are threatened. You are one of the first to come forward for them. I am sad to say that your hypothesis on the kidney disease cannot explain any issues related to it not only the geographical distribution. I have commented against you many times, so I do not want repeat them again. But it is shameful to sell your educational qualifications to multinationals.

    • 5
      3

      This writer is simply wrong. The journals run by learned societies are the respected journals. Once the internet came in to being, besides the journals run by the Learned societies like the Royal Society, Am. Chem. Soc. etc, a whole new set of bogus journals came up.
      Dr. Illeperuma is referring to the Journal where the anti-Glyhosate paper by Jayasumana was published. This paper by Jayasumana and others claim that Glyphosate causes kidney disease by forming a new as insoluble ceramic.

      That journal is owned by a private Chinese gentleman and Mrf. Sampath can also send his paper, or even a hoax paper, and they will publish it if he would just pay I think 1500 Swiss francs up front.
      For details, see the article in the AAAS journal “Science” by science-reporter bohonon:

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.summary

    • 5
      1

      Stupid Sampath. Check your IQ. Where are you from? Afghanistan or Bhutan? You don’t know about stupid open access journals. Funny. G to hell.

      • 1
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        To Mr. Kautilya and Mr Lalith

        You show where you come from the language that you used. Unfortunately, you have missed my point that is to devalue all open access publications by painting them with the same brush. Nowadays, many journals give two options to the author; 1) traditional subscription method or 2) Open access method. I know many subscription type journals started to be open access. Open access is a good concept because people have free access to scientific communications. The funds for researches are mainly from government institutions. That is from tax payers Money in any country. So the results of such researches also should benefited the public. Especially, PhD students like us cannot subscribe to every important journals, nor institutes can subscribe to every journals.

        On the other hand every good concepts can be misused or abused by pathetic people in the society. Under subscription type publications, some well-known people were able to publish their works irrespective of the quality of their new works. Nobody can deny such abuses have not happened. Similarly, good intention of open access journals can be abused. These are two school of thoughts. One should not insult another for belonging to another school. Therefore, the answer should be not to devalue that initiative. If any publisher looks after only Money, such journals will not be able to sustain and survive in long-term. So they will have natural deaths. In addition, the monopoly of some western journals have no validity in this era. We know how they treat even good quality research outputs from the third world. It is not me, but you are stupid to realize the changing world order.

        For your information, I have not paid even a cent for my publications in international peer-reviewed journals. On the other hand there is no point if you publish in such low grade journals. I always ask my supervisors before starting publications. If one argues that Jayasumana´s paper is published in a low quality open access journal, please show us a peer-reviewed paper illustrating his hypothesis on CKD published by Prof. Illeperuma in a journal mentioned by you. Do not show double standard for Mr. Jayasuman and Prof. Illeperuma.

  • 7
    4

    Professor Illeperuma is 100% correct and honest in his writings. There is no data what so ever in the scientific area that glyphosate or herbicides causing CKDu, anywhere in the world. Contrary to the claims above, apparently NO research was done in so called “California lab” in this aspect (news from LA stated that this dr. look after university ‘students health’, does NOT even has a lab, nor is a scientist); done any science to do with the CKDu (apparently fraudulent claims by certain local doctors here.
    It is truly shameful by the poor and economically bad decision by the president, who was either mislead by chronies, taking the political advantage for the next election, or both. God bless Sri Lanka!

  • 6
    0

    While agreeing with many of the points of view presented in this article by Prof Ileperuma, one can understand the decision made by the President. He has to take some action on this very serious problem and when the scientists in Sri Lanka are so divided, he has probably decided to ban glyphosate after considering all the views available to them.
    It is a failure of the scientific community and more specifically the medical scientists. On this long-standing problem the leadership from the Medical Profession and the Department of Health services has been abysmal. This has left open the field to an assortment of scientists – basically chemists – who at each others throats. What is the advise given by the Director/DHS to the President on this matter? Have we even seen a comment on this website from a medical scientist?

  • 3
    2

    there are so many research and review articles on Glyphosate toxicity to humans.

  • 2
    0

    there are so many research and review articles on Glyphosate toxicity to humans.

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.276.7132&rep=rep1&type=pdf

  • 5
    3

    Wonder how much Monsanto is paying this so called Professor for spouting bullshit.

    He is basically saying all the scientists calling for a boycott on this fertilizer cum chemical weapon is doing it for politics. Maybe they care for human health more than filling their pockets, considering the amount of clout Monsanto carries in the US parliament.

    http://reset.me/story/mit-scientist-uncovers-link-between-glyphosate-gmos-and-the-autism-epidemic/

  • 3
    2

    It is true that there are hundreds of articals about glyphosate and some related to human health; mostly possible cancer. Nothing what so ever it causing (or associated) with CKDu, (except for the speculation from rajarata group as clearly stated by Professor Illeperuma. Fact is there is nothing linking to glyphosate to CKDu other than a guess by two people form rajarata medical school! CKDu as present dozen of years before glyphosate was introduced to rajarata in 2002. Glyphosate is also used in similar or higher quantities in other regions with water hardness is in fact more; yet no CKDu !!! (blatantly stupid hypothesis/guess of CJ with no science behind it).
    Is this (guess of CJ) is good enough for the president to ‘ban’ this highly useful weedicde to farmers, from this country! Is this is new way policies for the country is made now (by guessing)?
    President failed to consult any scientific group Other than personal-CJ)or people have been doing research and well aware of the facts. Except to listening to Rev. Rathana (who is totally brainwashed by the rajarata doctor and God Natha’s coments via Nalin de silva.
    With reference to policy making, the country seems to going backwards: unfortunately, president is discrediting himself. He must take the responsibility for this highly “unwise decision” that would harm farmers and the country’s economy, yet have no effects on CKDu. A sad story for the country (kaata-kiyan-nada).

  • 4
    2

    See also the article in the Island Newspaper by another professor (Prof. Dharmawardana)

    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=125428

    He points out that (i)All western governments (they are the biggest users of Glyphosate) see NO REASON to ban glyphosate.
    (ii)It is freely sold and used even inside homes in the west, and it is safe unless you take mega amounts into your body. It is no more dangerous than citronella oil.
    (iii)In Sri Lanka this ban is being pushed by a bunch of people like Dr. Nalin de Silva who goes about claiming that science is a damn lie (Patta Pal Boru) and that we should get the truth from various Gods.

    It looks as if Sri lanka and Nicaragua are the only countries out of all the nations in the world who have banned Glyphosate. Bith countris are led by uneducated politicians.

  • 0
    2

    Illayperuma, Good to see you man , After such a long time…

    I thought everything is Political in our Mother land..

    My concern is what is going to happen to our Southern Inhabitants now that Ranil and his Buddies are in control.

    I am sure you know how the South had been neglected until our Southern boy Rajapaksa came along.

    How we help to develop the South for the inhabitants there to graduate in to Elite class is what we should focus on..

  • 4
    3

    Dear Professor Ileperuma

    You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. In todays context there are a lot of psuedoscientists who interpret pieces of information to prove their point rather than looking at totality of it or analyzing the complete picture. Unfortunately they know how to get closer to the politicians. All national scientific bodies and national or foreign scientists are not important to the Governments of Sri Lanka. This is where Sri lanka differs to India and fails in progress.
    There is nothing the educated persons do rather than waiting to see the same politicians importing rice and our agricultural industry fails in exports. Medical doctors are advising on agriculture and food safety today. What a country.

  • 5
    2

    Thank your Edward and Gamage for the above mentioned sensible comments.
    Early this week (“before” banning glyphosate) there was another very important article (another Professor) appeared in the Island:

    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=125383

    To make it easier, let me quote the following paragraph from this article.

    “Glyphosate do not cause CKDmfo: There is no credible evidence in the world scientific literature that the herbicide, glyphosate (worldwide, the most commonly used weedicide) causing CKD of any kind. Compared to other weedicides and pesticides, it is relatively harmless to human; Data available to-date, do not support it causing CKDmfo. Thus, contrary to false claims, banning of this herbicide will not have any benefit on reducing the incidence of CKDmfo.[http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=100405]”

    Article also gave the above URL (appeared on March 24, 2014 in Island) entitled,”Should glyphosate be banned without scientific evidence?”

    What these multiple Sri Lankan professional scientific leaders have stated are very clear [glyphosate do NOT cause CKDu]. But was totally ignored by our politicians like Rev. Rathana, armed with different agendas.

    These folks (politicians and Rajarata faculty members alike) are playing cheap politics for self-gain, while ransoming the precious lives of our farmers and their families. Unforgivable (stupid) mistake done by our president this week, by banning this herbicide.

  • 3
    0

    The ‘Scientist’ and many other commenters confirm the danger of ‘little knowledge’ provided they are honest in their comments and not driven by a politicised agenda.
    There is not an iota of evidence to show it is Glyphosate that caused CKD in SL. All facts are against it. Gly is carcinogenic and can even produce CKD according to published research, but under certain conditions that are not fulfilled in SL case to claim that it is Gly that caused CKD.
    Agrochems are on the other hand not safe to live and envt, particularly when not used under conditions specified for safe use. And that is why there is so much research, education and controls around its use. But, as Prof. points out (or not explicitly said) it is agrochems that made sure an almost doubled, 7 Billion population is fed, clothed and housed, and their life expectancy increased by more than 20 years, from a level that was under 50 years before the advent of agrochems. So, with all the dangers there, it is only the judicious use of agrochems can and will sustain these gains to the future.
    Let’s be scientific in our thinking if we want to identify us as ‘Scientists’.

  • 5
    3

    It’s a shame that Mr Sampath does not know who is Ileperuma in Sri Lanka. This so called Ph.D. candidate must have flunk A/L here in Sri Lanka and then exported to a foreign country just like any other Sri Lankan student who fail A/L would do. Where do you do your postgraduate studies? Must be in a foreign country! And Sampath you are licking the back of foreigners. Now you come to question the publications of a great Sri Lankan academic who have served over 40 years through teaching and mentoring thousands of students who passes tough A/L examination. Check the Google Scholar Profile of Ileperuma and see his publications and h-index. Don’t say you are a Sri Lankan if you don’t know Ileperuma.

    • 4
      4

      To Mr. Abeykoon
      For your information, I have passed A/L exam in Mathematics and ranked 4th in my District scoring 295 marks for four subjects in 1995. I went to the Faculty of Engineering of the University where Prof. Illeperuma teaches. I did my first degree and MSc in Sri Lanka. Again I did a Joint European MSc in the UK and Portugal. I worked in research projects for more than 10 years. Now I do my PhD. Is that enough for you to understand whether I failed A/L? I know Professor very well because he is an open defender of MNC´s from the day I was there. Tell me whether his hypothesis on Glyphosate is accepted or not? The scientific credentials should be measured in terms of number of scientific publications he or she involved with but not by the number of students he or she taught. It is natural if a person get a lecturer post in a Sri Lankan University, he will be able to teach thousands of students until he retires. I searched his scientific papers in peer reviewed journals but did not find more than what he is given in his web page. Anybody can get papers published in Sri Lankan journals easily. If one argues that Jayasumana´s paper is published in a low quality open access journal, please show us a peer-reviewed paper illustrating his hypothesis on CKD* published by Prof. Illeperuma in a journal mentioned by you. Do not show double standard for Mr. Jayasuman and Prof. Illeperuma. Note: I will not use CKDu because still MNC´s want to hide the truth from the innocent people who are dying several times before the actual death due to CKD.

      • 4
        2

        You claim you are a clever guy. you must be close to forty and you are still doing your Ph.D. Nonsense. Any idiot can do a Ph.D. in this world at any age and they don’t become scientist. There are plenty of rubbish universities offering Ph.D’s to crooks. Check the educational qualifications of Ileperuma. You seem to have a grudge with him because of his achievements. Please don’t accuse such people who have done a great service to the nation. Not like you who served for NGO’s and other bogus projects and now licking backs of Europeans. If you are a Peradinya guy you must respect the academics in that University. I curse you for accusing those great guys. One thing is clear. You have definitely applied to Peradeniya University academic position and got rejected. That I am sure. After all, Engineering Faculties do not produce Scientists. Not even someone who can think rationally.

  • 1
    3

    As per WHO research, low level exposure to Cadmium over a period has been suggested as the cause of CKD in Sri Lanka. Cadmium is present in Glyphosate as an impurity. Prof. Illeperuma poses a question as to why CKD is not prevalent in other parts of the country where Glyphosate is used.

    The reason for this is that, in areas where there is good quality drinking water CKD is not there. Exposure to Cadmium plus hard water containing fluoride is seen to cause CKD. In the Anuradhapura district, when good quality water was given for drinking and cooking purposes, reversals in CKD patients were observed. Unfortunately, little publicity is given to this.

  • 3
    2

    All these are hearsay evidence, not scientific. Nevertheless, giving clean water is the right thing to do.

    First, nether the WHO report nor any credible scientific group had produce convincing data on cadmium, arsenic, glyphosate, or anything else that causing CKDu. What Mr. Ferdinando’s sated above in false, which he also repeatedly indicated in his “misleading” reports to various agencies (just repeating, without thinking what is writing).

    There is no need to give publicity to adhoc, anecdotal data as claims by Mr. Ferdinando; then it become yet another false propaganda diverting away main issue. If we already categorically know what causing CKDu, that would be so much easier to move ahead to help people. Why then talking about a worthless subject of glyphosate and CKD?

    We are very concern that the so-called clean water given by the Water Board is mostly size exclusion and particle filtration, and nothing on specific chemical removals. On the contrary to Water Board and Mr. Ferdinando’s claims (where he was a part as a senior engineer and was responsible for many years), procedures it use do not remove appreciable amounts of ANY potential pollutants including cadmium, fluoride and agrochemicals that may contribute to the CKDu.

    If this is not true, dear Mr. Ferdinando, can you please categorically produce such water quality data from the traditional, large-scale water purification by the Water Board and explain the procedures in details what they use (NOT, RO procedure). Can you garneted that all water supped provide by the Water board is FREE from heavy metals, fluoride and agrochemicals? Preferably, please publish these data as an article in a leading newspaper for everyone to see; that would be helpful.

    This data must however, include original water source data and the supplies water data produced to people via pipes. Water Board has never produced these (truthful data) and refused to make these public, because they do an inferior (and unacceptable) job in water purifications (although we are forced to think otherwise);thus they get way with it.

    This is critical, as this is the same failed procedures that the Water Board is expanding in the NCP (yet asking the government to waste billions of rupees) with blind faith and no scientific thinking.

    Only reason why people in other areas and cities are not getting the disease, because the primary water sources (watersheds) the Water Board is using are already clean water (they just provide it via pipes). This is seer luck for people.

    This mess is not purely Mr. Ferdinando;s personal fault (although he was a part of it and must take the responsibility), but the Water Board’s general unscientific processes used and thinking for past many years (and refusal to change), virtually Water Board contribute VERY LITTLE to solving the problem.

    We need new people in the Water Board (so as in other key governmental departments, not political appointees), younger engineers with good scientific background, be able to have fresh thinking to resolve the problems facing the NCP.

    My apology for diverting these comments rom glyphosate here, but repeated false representation and propaganda by Mr. Ferdinando has to be countered.

    • 1
      1

      To Mr. Gamage,

      I am sorry that I do not know who you are and your background.

      Do you know that there is no CKDu in the Anuradhapura City and surrounds where Water Board is supplying treated surface water. The Regional Health Authorities are well aware of this. The reason is that this water is soft and there is no fluoride.

      Also please note that Cd,As etc. has not been detected in either surface water nor groundwater. As per the WHO Report Cd, As are ingested through the food chain. As such, there is no requirement for Water Board to target removal of Cd or heavy metals.

      In all endemic areas people use groundwater which is hard and contains fluoride. What Water Board does in these areas is removal of hardness and fluoride using small RO plants. We are supplying good quality water for ‘drinking and cooking purposes’ to 60,000 people at present. Hopefully, by end 2015, this number will increase to 150,000.

      In the village Billewa, after supplying good quality water for 1 1/2 years, 80% of the CKDu patients were found to be stable, 30% had improved. This was disclosed by the Regional Health Office which had been monitoring the patients. Water Board has requested the Regional Health Authorities to carry out patient response monitoring in other areas supplied with good quality drinking water.

      Cd is nephro-toxic. WHO research has confirmed that the urine, hair and fingernails of CKDu patients contain high levels of Cd and As. If Glyphosate or other agrochemicals have higher levels of Cd, As it would be prudent to take measures to control their use.

      Many believe that Water Board has given some hope to these helpless people. Criticising Water Board will not be helpful.

      Finally, as personal remarks about me has been made, I like to tell you that I have never been responsible for water supplies in these areas except that I was fully involved in supplying good quality water for ‘drinking and cooking’ in the affected areas during the last 3 years or so.

  • 0
    0

    Dear all,

    The banning of Glypho is becoming very complicated. According to Daily News now the export of Glypho has been banned while at the same time CPC is the only company allowed to import it.

    I assume that the export ban is a mistake since the stuff is not made in SL.

    Has the import and usage of Glypho been totally banned or not?

    Who knows??? Who is in charge??

    http://dailynews.lk/?q=local/glyphosate-export-ban-tea-cultivation-not-affected
    Glyphosate export ban: tea cultivation not affected

    Ishara Mudugamuwa

    The export of Glyphosate will be banned in Sri Lanka from the next cultivation season, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said.
    He said the banning of exporting glyphosate will not affect tea cultivation. “The government has also taken a decision to import glyphosate only through the Petroleum Corporation without giving permission for private companies to import them.” he said.
    Dissanayake said the government also plans to completely ban the importation of glyphosate even for tea cultivation in the future. 

  • 1
    1

    Dear Gamage/ and to whom it may concern

    The logic . . .

    If you do a thorough study on Glyphosate and its direct or indirect implications on CKD you will have only 2 conclusions.

    Either it is a cause for CKD or it is not

    Thorough studies will take time and a study conducted by one party may contradict results of another. Thus we can never be sure.

    Now in the event it is a cause for CKD as it is suspected to be, are you fighting for a correct cause?

    If you are unsure of something the logic is to avoid or prohibit using it.

    See how long it took to say in open that smoking kills?
    Now in this case too there were people arguing that it does not kill and that it may be politics.

    But how many lives are you willing to sacrifice until the truth is revealed?

    The facts . . .

    Further note that Glyphosate is being banned in other countries. We aren’t the first. Google it!

    And do not attack the people including the President of this country who are fighting for innocent lives.
    President Mahinda Rajapakse would have done the same based on the principles outlined in this message.

    Be happy that peoples lives are being changed. The results and stats are promising.

    If Sri Lankans think along these lines we will have a better tomorrow.

    Regards
    SJ

  • 0
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    actually reasonable discussion regarding glyphosate in sri lanka. these true possible reasons everybody knows regarding our agriculture sector

  • 0
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    I read through the article and the voluminous comments in a bit confused my understang is that their is a correlation between the chemical use and kidney disease but is their any examination of causation of kidney disease due to the chemical

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