How can one sleep hearing holy-Inquisition-style Sri Lankan discourses? – Reply to Grusha Andrews’ wet dream on glyphosate
I am glad that Grusha Andrews (GA) has given me another opportunity to discuss agrochemicals and the scientific approach to the elucidation of causative factors of ill health and disease. The readers may note Grusha Andrews’ tone of the holy Inquisitor, nay of the Nazi Sturmabteilung in dealing with myself, Dr. Anuruddha Padeniaya, Venerable Athuraliye Ratana, Dr. Channa Jayasumana an others. Did she wake up from her glyphosic dream after reading my article in the Colombo Telegraph entitled “Can A California Jury Decide If A Pesticide Caused Gardener Johnson’s Cancer?”, on 13th August 2018.
I am labeled a “a specimen of a ‘scientist’ who is using scientific jargon to advocate cancer, chronic kidney disease and death to Sri Lankans. I am said to be a descendant of the Nazis who performed trials on captured Jews, the Caucasians who trialled gynaecological instruments on Negro women without anaesthesia or their consents – (sic) – having the immoral audacity to consistently advocate to ‘lesser humans’ what they protect themselves from in their countries of residence”. I am also said to be a “quasi scientist”.
Grusha Andrews is the very opposite of all that. She is the White American or Shining knight who came to defeat the Nazis and save the free world. The female Chevalier-Garter of the Thistle- is also called a Knight. Having whipped herself into a lather of righteous indignation befitting an executioner of the Holy Inquisition about to torch heretics, Grusha Andrews goes for more victims. Calling names may have been the war cry of barbarians.
Dr. Padeniya is declared “a noncompoop-hood”. Lady GA turns to Ven. Athureliye Ratana and present him (without the “Ven.”) as an extremist Buddhist monk defecating in a pit in Lady GA’s mind. She is the very epitome of moderation. She upends this verbal diarrhea claiming that “the idiocy of Padeniya , Jayasumana et al. (sic) does not absolve Chandre Dharmawardana and his team of devil’s advocates from their criminality towards the human beings of Sri Lanka”- she forgot the earthworms!
Indeed, this crusader now moves to reveal what she thinks is the miserable motive of this devil’s team – filthy lucre! They “risk generations of humans to fatten the pockets … the likes of Dharmawardana till a 20 year prospective study is completed?” However, before burning the agents of Satan, Lady GA must right the realm of her fellow Knight, Sir Bradford Hill!
I disagree completely with Venerable Ratana, Dr. Jayasumana, Dr. Padeniaya and others, but have never used such contemptible language against them in my writings. They, like Grusha Andrews, are all part of the frightened public who believe that they are fighting a holy war against rapacious global agricultural giants and their agents. They think that their plate of food, and their glass of water are poisoned by agrochemicals and see the mote of glyphosate residues but not the toxic beam of fossil fuel residues. They hang on fake science or Natha Deiyyo to rationalize their fear. If medieval people believed that evil spirits caused disease, today’s bogey bugs are the agrochemicals said to be present “everywhere”! Scientists who favour any use of agrochemicals are tar-brushed as “paid agents of agro-companies” as in Dr. Jayasumana’s scurrilous book “Wakugadu Hatana”.
This discourse is increasingly fascist, insinuating those who hold opposite opinions to be ‘dirty jews working for big business and against the Fatherland’. Today in Sri Lanka, there are Shining Knights hurling unsubstantiated accusations from every corner. They judge others by their standards. Indeed, how can one sleep, when this type of crude discourse is more and more current, with Jayasumana and Grusha Andrews common bedfellows.
Bradford Hill criteria for identifying causative agents of diseases
When I discuss environmental science, food technology etc. with colleagues and students, ‘what is healthy’, and “what causes what” invariably come up. In physics, the concept of cause is obsolete, but not in epidemiology. The Bardford Hill approach is best for students without much mathematics. Those with a mastery of mathematics can construct a mathematical model, and immediately discover the redundancies and errors in the Bradford Hill criteria [these are exposed by a factor-group analysis, also called an eigenvector analysis – indeed, we need the ‘jargon’ to be precise ]. But GA has failed to see these and reproach my alleged “cunning”.
The so-called biological gradient criterion falls logically under my very first item, i.e., “Strength of association between so called ’cause and effect (disease)’. That is, when the dose of the causative agent increases, the chance of developing the disease, or the strength of the epidemic, increases proportionately.
Thus countries which use a very large amount of agrochemicals and pesticides should show proportionately higher incidence of cancer, kidney and liver diseases if agrochemicals are involved. However, what is seen is a NEGATIVE CORRELATION. I gave the figures for several countries. The figures for New Zealand and USA are 1717 and 137 kg/hectare (2015 World bank data) respectively, while Qatar uses over 7100 kg/hectare. Data for over 150 countries verify this negative correlation. Even within Sri Lanka, the highest use of glyphosate is in the Tea Estates, while the lowest is in the paddy fields. Yet it is the paddy farmers who contract a kidney disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu), and in only certain Dry-Zone villages. In spite of this, the anti-industry lobby jumps to link CKDu with glyphosate use, although what we see is an ANTI-CORRELATION.
A strong correlation with CKDu is found for people who drink stagnant water from household wells, many of which are high in fluoride, and contain hard water (i.e., having magnesium and calcium ions). A correlation does not establish a cause, but an anti-correlation eliminates a proposed cause. It is fluoride and magnesium together that satisfy the criteria for causing CKDu. For more details, see my research paper published in the Journal of Environmental Geochemistry, volume 40, p 705 (2017), and references therein.
All such science is irrelevant to our Crusader. Lady GA draws me over the burning coals claiming I cunningly neglected “temporality” in my list. She elucidates “temporality” for the uninitiated by saying that “the longer a person is exposed to the causative agent the higher the chance of developing the disease”. Contrary to Bardford Hill’s position, I recommend that the first seven tests be applied first, and then, if successful one moves to the time dependent tests (“temporality”) as toxico-kinetic studies are more difficult and expensive. That is why I skip it from my initial list for the evaluation of an aetiology.
After unleashing high dudgeon GA asks a question about the length of the studies taken to establish the safety of Glyphosate formulations. Here is the question, written in Lady GA’s adaptation of the Goebbels invective:
“Quasi scientists of the inhuman calibre of Dharmawardana” who scream for long prospective studies to assert the causality between cancer and Glyphosate before its ban don’t seem to question the ‘800 studies ‘that ‘prove’ glyphosates are safe. Were they prospective cohort studies? How many years were the exposed subjects followed up to arrive at the conclusion that Glyphosphates are safe? Who funded such study? …(sic)…Are we to risk generations of humans to fatten the pockets of the industry giants and the likes of Dharmawardana till a 20 year prospective study is completed?
If Lady GA had simply Googled for long-term studies (chronic toxicity studies) on glyphosate she could have found out the needed answers without fattening pockets or resorting to uncivilized invective. Most advanced countries have their own cohort studies, while US studies are the most comprehensive. I gave the answers in my article in the Colombo Telegraph.
Giant health study of nearly a lakh of farmers for almost a quarter century
I had repeatedly alluded to the long study of 90,000-farmer that lasted nearly 25 years (Bradford Hill’s temporality criterion), and not just 20 years. The study was funded by the Dept. of Health of the US government, and conducted by independent scientists. It was reported in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2017, DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djx233., published on 17th November, 2017. There had also been many earlier studies of shorter durations. Many of these farmers had used glyphosates before the study, and hence their exposure was possibly longer than 25 years. They were exposed to glyphosate containing all the usual adjuvants (i.e., ~5% of wetting agents, used also in shampoos). The health, body fluids and physiology of the farmers were monitored in detail, compared with control samples and the data analyzed mathematically instead of simplistic Bradford Hill criteria (but of course including them more correctly). David Spiegelhalter, a professor at Britain’s Cambridge University, an FRS and an expert in analyzing statistical risks (with no stake in this research), said the results were from a very “large and careful study” and showed no significant relationship between glyphosate use and any type of cancer including non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
But the California jury incorrectly affirmed that gardener Johnson’s Lymphoma was caused by Glyphosate use! Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
The main adversaries of Glyphosate are the NGOs and health-food chains that oppose GMO foods. Does Lady GA believe that the 107 Nobel Laureates who wrote to the Washington Post (30th June 2016) blasting “Green” NGOs for their Luddite anti-science position are nothing but paid agents of agrochemical companies, or descendant of the Nazis who performed trials on captured Jews, the Caucasians who trialled gynaecological instruments on Negro women without anaesthesia or their consents ?
The Precautionary Principle
GA’s “chivalry” and humanity have no bounds. She asserts that ‘when scientists, epidemiologists and oncologists want Glyphosphate controls on the precautionary principals of medicine, the likes of Dharmawardana ask for evidence from prospective cohort studies’. Ga wants to act before doing the studies in true Mikado style. Indeed, “first the execution and then the trial”!
The precautionary principle is incorrectly used when you ban a dangerous substance. Societies have evolved sophisticated precautionary principles improving on primitive “ban and banish” (BB) approaches. The modern approach is to “control and constrain” (CC) instead of BB. Even strong narcotics (e.g., opioids) are available to physicians when they need them – they are not banned. All pharmaceuticals are more dangerous than glyphosate, but they are available through trained pharmacists by prescription. Radioactive materials are similarly controlled and constrained. An agrochemical subject to a precautionary principle should NOT be sold in the open market, but made available to farmers only through licensed technicians who apply the optimal amount in a farm or in a school yard. Then, clumsy gardeners like Johnson who admit to getting fully doused with Glyphosate, not once but at least twice, will not access the material.
Banning a coveted substance creates a black market, producing a more dangerous situation. Smuggled glyphosate was easily available in Sri Lanka during the ban. That is why the modern application of the precautionary principle is to use CC instead of BB. Glyphosate should be available to all users and not just Tea and Rubber planters, or else the unjust law will be breached.
Those concerned with precaution cannot ignore more serious dangers perhaps a factor of million stronger. Petroleum and diesel fumes, burnt-garbage emissions, and dust carrying urban toxins are class-1 carcinogens. These are everywhere, in large amounts in the ecosystem and in food. Pharmaceuticals in urine flushed down go into water ways. These toxins are ignored, and we are told that traces of glyphosate, a mere class-II hazard, are present “everywhere”. So what, and indeed, by how much? A French beekeeper has filed a case because there are 16 parts per billion of glyphosate in some samples of honey. Given that the JCPR which is an arm of the WHO allows 1 mg/kg of body weight (i.e., one part per million) per day of glyphosate, the alleged contamination from glyphosate is nearly a million times smaller than accepted chronic toxicity levels. That is, if the “ban-and-banish” style precautionary principle is to be applied, then we should first ban all fossil fuels, paints and industrial solvents, toilets running into sewers etc., before banning a virtually non-existent hazard which is measurable only by the power of modern analytical chemistry. This hazard is grossly exaggerated by “green-food” vendors and fear-mongering NGOs.
Is Glyphosate carcinogenic?
Glyphosate was deemed a probable (but not a definitely established ) class-II carcinogen by the IARC of the WHO only in 2014. The IARC identified a hazard, and not a health risk. Even this is disputed, ironically enough by another arm of the WHO and the FAO named the Joint committee on pesticide residues (JCPR). Their communique of May 16th, 2016 implies that glyphosate is not a chronic agro-toxin. A daily intake of even 1 mg per kg of body weight is deemed safe!
Johnson claims he was not warned of the dangers of gyphosate when the accidental dousing with glyphosate happened. That happened before 2014, prior to its classification in class-II. So how does the California jury conclude that the gardener had been misled? May be the Jurors were like Grusha Andrews in their mindset.
Monsanto documents are alleged to prove that “they knew it to be a carcinogen”. What the Monsanto internal documents prove is that their scientists were considering the possibility that Glyphosate is carcinogenic, and were investigating that. However, no one has concluded that it is truly carcinogenic even today. The Jury erred in linking Johnson’s Lymphoma to glyphosate. It could have justly taken Monsanto and the US regulatory bodies to task for their too cozy relationship.
Is glyphosate bad for the environment?
Many websites run by Organic Food chains etc., claim that glyphosate kills bacteria and earthworms. The internet is full of fake news. If you consult research journals maintained by learned societies or universities, or standard textbooks, a different picture emerges. Glyphosate is broken down by bacteria into amino acid derivatives and phosphates which are food for bacteria. So, most types of bacteria thrive in the presence of small amounts of glyphosate, which are what the soil gets (parts per billion) as the glyphosate is sprayed in dilution as an aerosol. Similarly, earthworms thrive better as glyphosate binds to toxic metals like cadmium and make them insoluble. For instance, regarding the beneficial effect towards earthworms, see e,g,: Zhou et al, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, vol. 33, p 2351-2357 (2014). Also, see Lane et al, Peobiologia, vol. 55, pages 325-342 (2012) regarding the effect of glyphosate on the bacterial biomass. In contrast, organic farmers should note that many common substances can be toxic, e.g., used ground coffee if added to garden soils kill earthworms and bacteria as it is acidic and has sufficient caffeine to be toxic to such organisms.
The public is worried about the alleged “persistence” of glyphosate in the environment. In tropical climates glyphosate is broken down in a few days, or gets firmly attached to metallic elements like calcium, aluminium, cadmium etc., and from insoluble substances rendering them harmless. Here a French jury erred gravely in its judgment on the bio-degradability of glyphosate.
In Sri Lanka, the WHO study [Jayatilleke et al. BMC Nephrology, vol. 14, p 160 (2013)] found that 97% of CKDu patients had no significant detectable amounts of glyphosate in their body fluids. The waterways of Sri Lanka have no traces of glyphosate, because, if such glyphosate exists, then there cannot be green algae or green weeds (e.g., Water Hyacinth) in the water. Hence Dr. Ranil Senanayake’s concern about monitoring leakage of glyphosate into rivers is trivially solved by looking at the presence of algae in our water ways.
Grusha Andrews’ list of countries that allegedly “banned” Glyphosate
This list is completely misleading, and reports the scum that collects to the top of the internet, rather than looking at what has been gazetted by these countries. Various politicians in these countries have promised to “ban” glyphosate to appease individuals like Grusha Andrews and Ven. Ratana, but they do nothing. In Canada, Glyphosate is available in most Home & Garden sections of Home Depot, Canadian Tire etc. Only two countries banned glyphosate outright, viz., Sri Lanka and San Salvador. Both have now reversed the ban and glyphosate is available for agricultural use. It is available in over 190 countries the world over, for use in agriculture, golf courses, school grounds, city parks, railway tracks etc.. These include the countries listed by GA where some of them seek to introduce a CC-type precautionary principle rather than a ban. A more detailed account of such fake news is given in my article (click here).
Grusha Andrews’ Libelous charge
The author Gursha Andrews has accused the present writer of receiving money from agrochemical multinationals and “fattening pockets”. This is a very serious libelous and unsubstantiated charge that can be taken up through the proper channels to seek justice, unless the author withdraws them forthwith and clarifies her position, or provides evidence to substantiate her claims.
old codger / August 18, 2018
California is well known for nutty justice. Recently a court decided that coffee should carry a cancer warning since there are alleged carcinogens in it.
LAC3 (Rtd) Budhdhadasa / August 18, 2018
We should take this very good chance to promote tea in California. Until they find Glyphosate in it.
old codger / August 18, 2018
Grusha, Andrews unleashed another outburst against perceived environmental poisons, supported by the deluded organic brigade. But she was careful to dissociate herself from the loonies like Ratana Hamuduruwo and the Natha Deviyo gang ( who may be sincere but deluded as Prof. D says) But let us analyze the issue and its consequences:
It is true that weedkillers were not used in the past. What was used? Indian Tamil labour, at the time cheap and freely available. What happened to them? We won’t open that can of worms, OK.
Can we then export organically grown tea? Who will buy it at higher cost?
It is the NCP farmers who are affected. Their water comes from the famous Mahaweli scheme which is of recent origin.
Which is more beneficial to the country, the Mahaweli scheme for mostly local consumption, or the plantations which produce exportable value? If glyphosate is actually poisonous, we must stop importing it, which means the end of the export economy. Otherwise, the Mahaweli scheme must be shut down, and the plantations expanded. The ex-farmers can do the weeding, and rice can be imported, as in colonial times.
I hope this is clear enough for even the most fanatical do-gooder environmentalist.
BTW, there is no point bashing Monsanto, because the patent expired long ago and the stuff is now mainly Russian or Chinese. So all you conspiracy nuts can go back to sleep.
Sinhala_Man / August 19, 2018
Good point, old codger.
With the Monsanto patent having expired, even we could make hay, or rather Glyphosate, in Sri Lanka, and make huge profits while possibly dooming the world.
I’m not advocating it; but that is the sort of silly thing our politicians will do (as their private venture) if the think it possible.
Dr. Dharshana W / August 18, 2018
Whilst these synonymous phases of who-is-what, and why-is-who, are being exchanged back & forth between GA and CD, none of this is beneficial to any of the readership. An argumentative response to the primary question is a-begging, which no one in particular seems to interested in anymore.
To drill down to the point, whist I am neither an agriculturist nor a crop scientist, but yet a scientist of a different specialty, my conclusion derived from the basic presentations is that there is enough evidence to safely conclude that Glyphosate has a carcinogenic effect.
However banning Roundup A branded weedicide patented by Monsanto ( an Agri-business company formed in 1901, acquired by Bayer in 2016) by or any other weedicide containing Glyphosate without a proper fix to the problem is very unscientific. In fact it s a political blunder, a decision made by politicians who seem to not see the the future beyond the tip of their noses.
The way forward plan in my opinion is:
1. Adopt a phase-out strategy (like done by France) over a period of 3-5 years.
2. Evaluate both the traditional approach ( pre-Roundup era, and the substitute solutions adopted by other countries)
3. Let the experts decide on the best way-forward plan with minimum interference from the Politicos.
hancho pancha / August 18, 2018
This argument must not be restricted to Glyphosate alone. It must extend to all agrochemicals and toxins that enter the water supply and the food chain. Even in tiny quantities over many years they get accumulated in the kidneys. When the symptoms appear it is too, too late to reverse it. Damage is already done. It is like a ticking time bomb. The short term economic gains are minuscule, insufficient to compensate the huge damage it has already done. It makes sense to err on the right-side than on the wrong-side.
Edward / August 18, 2018
But you have to make sure you are on the right side!
If the agrochemical residus are only a millionth of the hazard level, and if, after testing on a Lakh of people for 25 years, no negative health effects have been found, then it is silly to go on worrying about agrochemicals, when the main culprit causing diseases, use of FOSSIL FUELs, remains untouched
Peramune Abhaya / August 18, 2018
Chandare can’t sleep these days obviously it looks like. He must be scared that his name also might come up at the next rial scheduled to begin at Monsanto’s hometown, St Louis, Missouri in October. Little bird tells it will.
Try some arsenic and cadmium (50% / 50%) Chandare, like you had recommended to those fearing arsenic in our rice.
That will definitely put you to sleep man (pardon the pun).
Crazy Yahapalanaya / August 18, 2018
Dr. Dharmawardana has made an important and valid point about the so called precautionary principle.
Indeed, there is absolutely NO POINT in suddenly banning a widely used herbicide like glyphosate that has been used in the country for nearly two decades since 2000.
It will take more than 25 years to create a safer product, because you need to test at least for 25 years to ensure that there are no long-term effects. Glyphosate HAS PASSED THE TEST.
Any such ban will lead to black marketeers thriving.
Religious zealots banned alcohol. In the US they had Al Capone and other gangsters thriving in Chicago in the 1920-1930 era, and the Mafia thriving after that. In Sri Lanka, the Paaathala Lokaya will take over the agrochemcials trade if the government continues its sill policy and attempt to ban glyphosate etc., for all other agriculturalists except Tea and Rubber.
What about Maize, sugar cane, Fruits and Vegetables? In the tropics with monsoonal rains which even wash away houses and bridges, all traces of herbicides get washed away into the sea.
In any case, as this author says, if there is Glyphosate in the water, then there can be no algae in the water.
Show me an Ela, Dola, river or lake in Sri lanka which does not have algae.
So there is no contamination of our water by glyphsoate. In fact, the only important agrochemical residue found in water are phosphates and some nitrates. NO glyphosate, No cadmium, or arsenic and other heavy metals have been found except for very harmless traces .
JD / August 18, 2018
CRAZY YAHAPALANAY:You are not only a stupid idiot but also a want to be a human murderer. Whether Dharmawardane admits or not, All the western countries have banned glyphosate and/or in the process of eliminating it. He says, Srilankan Tea cultivation uses glyphosate. Glyphosate is a total weed killer and is not used on grain crops. but, In Germany, every beer sold is contaminated with glyphosate. Read this; https://www.globalresearch.ca/german-beer-industry-in-shock-over-glyphosate-contamination/5633850; REad this article about How american EPA officials were jailed for lieing to the people, another another BIG BUINESS andFRADULENT SCIENCE. https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/poison-spring-the-secret-history-of-pollution-and-the-epa/
Belgium Beer industry also had glyphosate contamination. How come when glyphosate is not sprayed on graisn, Beer is contaminated. Why do you say TEA is not and will not contaminated after over 35 years of use in Sri lanka.
Yahapalanaya / August 19, 2018
Every bear is contaminated, not only with glyphosate but also with diesel and petrol exhaust. Those are class-I carcinogens, while glyphosate is class-II carcinogen and so not fully a carcinogen. Also, pertol and industrial toxins present at one part in a million, while glyphosate is present at parts per BILLION, so it is a million times smaller.
So, shouldn’t you worry about the class I toxin present in abidance before you worry about the class-II toxin present in parts per billion?
justice / August 18, 2018
Chandre Dharmawardena should demonstrate the safety of Glyphosate by consuming one milligram of it, in public or in a TV studio after the substance and dosage have been identified by two or more other scientists.
Will he ?
Guruge / August 19, 2018
This is a very uninformed but commonly made proposal.
In agriculture, what is relevant is chronic toxicity, and not acute toxicity.
The toxicity arising from immediate intake of a signidficantg quantity is relevant to suicide attempts etc., and we know that even if someone takes one CUP of glyphosate, the doctors can send if home after some intervention.
Unlike glyphosate which is hence safe even against suicide, paraquat (another herbicide) is lethal. There is not much you can do even if you take a tiny amount by mouth.
The REAL question is, if the environment contains small quantities (10-20 parts per billion, i.e., micrograms per kg) of glyphosate, what is the long term effect of ingesting it for many years? Yo cant answer that by someone drinking a bit of glyphosate.
You need a long term trial with many people to find out what effect it has on the average.
And that is what has been done with the test on 90000 of Farmers for 25 years
The conclusion, NO correlation with cancer, kidney or liver diseases etc.
JD / August 18, 2018
Andrew Greusha wrotee one article which I agreed. There after it seems every aritlce she writes is very disrepectful to her political opponents. In order to protect her CT also di dnot publish my comments. IT looks very much she is does nto know about Sri lankan culture and she is not buddhist. I thought she may be appointed by some western emabassy.
JD / August 18, 2018
GOD NAtha’s involvemtn in PEsticide toxicity, I also believes. For some definitely that is CRAP. Dumb OLD CODGER who said that Bond Scam did not happen says Coffe is carcinogenic. That may be true for heavy drinkers. Because coffee once roasted that can create so many carcinogens during the roasting process. Decaffinated coffee decaffinated using organic solvents. Those minute amounts can be carcinogenic. Other than that, the subsequent argument was coffee were fed to lab rats in large amounts which would correspond to amounts that human are not consuming. Daily average intake of Caffien or the toxins is too low cause carcinogenic. Anyway, note even in that they talk about small or miute amounts of carcinogens causing canc er in human body. Anyway, Dr. dharmawardane has taken, if you did, Grusha Anderw’s RANT as a justification of Glyphosate. that is Bull.
old codger / August 18, 2018
” Dumb OLD CODGER who said that Bond Scam did not happen says Coffe is carcinogenic. “
Never heard of “coffe” . Is it some kind of flu? Or is it the stuff that you smoke before you write?
JD / August 19, 2018
OLD cranky codger: Colonial mind set. found a mistake. Are you still kneeling infront of the queen ? Do you know that the word COFFEE is not english.
old codger / August 19, 2018
“Do you know that the word COFFEE is not english.”
So you are writing nonsense in Arabic now?
Are you so stupid that you don’t know there is a spell-checker in your computer or phone? Talk about giving razors to monkeys!
Sinhala_Man / August 19, 2018
To an extent, you are right.
old codger is justified to the extent that he and you disagree strongly on the merits and de-merits of glyphosate, and so he uses this “kaduwa” to beat you down..
The word has been common in English since about 1650 A.D. There are no words that belong purely to one language. This word has come from the Arabic, “qahwah”, one of the few words that I learn in Oman where I taught basic English in a very remote, but hospitable village in Oman.
old codger is a nice man (real identity unknown to me) who usually makes nice comments. He shouldn’t have done this to you! It is because of the “Kaduwa” mentality that English cannot be taught in this country – leading to lots of other problems and tensions.
On content: in this instance, I’m with you. But it’s the experts, with accurate knowledge of Chemistry, who should comment.
old codger / August 19, 2018
“old codger is a nice man “. Thank you, and I do try to be nice . But would you call somebody that you have never met “dumb” without provocation (I was not addressing JD anyway)? I believe it has nothing to do with “kaduwa”, but an absence of civilization. So I am nasty when it suits the occasion.
BTW, I too came across “qahwah” in Saudi Arabia. “Arak” too, though I am no Arabic expert. I still read a lot about modern convoluted Arab history
JD / August 18, 2018
In the west, Cancer fear is very genuine. On the other hand, Many multinationals publish, the business financed research to promote the product. for example,a s they can not promote Bread. they promote the invention of the bread slicing machine as the wonder in the last century. You can not simpluy justify the mutation of every organiam in water and in soil to get adapted to Glyphosate. which is not a natural chemical and, therefore, can not break down. It is proven Glyohosate adjuvents are carcinogenic, Glyphosate manyfacturing process can include carcinogens and what American public saying is Glyphosate accumulation caused them cancer. Don’t think Californian courts accepted court case without checking the research results of the opponents as well as the complainents.
Bodin / August 19, 2018
In the West, if the fear of cancer is genuine, why do they eat Red Meat and Sausages and ham and such stuff which are CLASS-I carcinogens, while glyphosate is only a probably (calls-II) carcinogen, present in trace amounts only.
Why do they drink alcohol? I come from a Muslim background and The Holy Prophet advised us to be teetotlers. Muslims, original desert people, have to eat meat but they should become vegetarians. Muslims don’t eat ham and sausages and pork meat.
Old codger is right. Coffe is carcinogenic in excess. A little is OK.
Everything is toxic if you take too much.
You see that Qatar uses over 7100 kg/hectare of agrochemcials (ighest in the world), compared to 30 kg/hectare by Paddy farmers, and that is because Arab countires now grow vegetables in the desert.
In the west people don’t want to admit that the fault is their life style with alcohol, smoking and meat eating; so they put the blame on glyphosate!!
Vasithi Kolonne / August 18, 2018
Chandre Dharmawardane – the best scientist Lanka produced after Cyril Ponnamperuma?
K.Pillai / August 18, 2018
Chandre Dharmawardana stresses ~ “…….The readers may note Grusha Andrews’ tone of the holy Inquisitor, nay of the Nazi Sturmabteilung in dealing with myself,………”.
Ha ha ha. Are we into wearing the Galileo Galilei mantle? (‘Life of Galileo’ by Bertolt Brecht)
Chandre: Is Grusha the enraged Pope Urban VIII (formerly Cardinal Maffeo Barberini)?
ramona therese fernando / August 18, 2018
What is known for certain is that America developed all of these chemicals because their lost their natural farmlands when millions upon millions of immigrants fled to her shores; the Native Indians were driven away from their natural farmlands, and the American soil became barren.
They thus had to develop chemical alternatives. These are sold on the global marketplace and natural agrarian countries are encouraged/forced to buy it every-time they try to “develop” in first-world ways.
China, in their coverteous desire to overtake the US , is following the traditional US system, but they are deliberately destroying their ancient farmlands to build up housing and industrial parks.
Thus does the glyphosate industry needs to remain a global monetary balancer. Well, some of us will have to suffer with cancers, autism, neurological diseases, kidney diseases et al, but the 25% of us who do won’t show up in the scientific charts because it the critical percentage is around 26% before scientist’s eyes boggle at it.
Koshila Nilmini Gamaethige / August 18, 2018
Is Chandre Dharmawardane – a Monsanta agent? I don’t think so
Is Chandre Dharmawardane working on an NGO agenda? – I don’t think so
Is Chandre Dharmawardane a genuine patriot? I think so
Sceptical / August 19, 2018
One can’t help but wonder why it is that Chandre D spends so much time and energy defending Monsanto and the use of glyphosate. And his defense is so frequent and emphatic that it is no wonder that readers suspect there must be some ulterior motive.
What I mean is that his view on glyphosate has been paraded ad nauseum, so regular readers of CT are well aware of his stance on this controversial subject, so of what use are his repeated and emphatic assertions that glyphosate is safe to be used by our farmers and isn’t detrimental to the environment?
Chandre, please let us know if Monsanto manufactures ANY products that are not safe to use because of their chemical contents that are known to be harmful to life and the environment.
Also what are your views on Monsanto’s GM foods?
old codger / August 19, 2018
The reason why Chandre has to repeat himself is because some people can’t remember anything beyond two weeks.
“Chandre, please let us know if Monsanto manufactures ANY products that are not safe to use “
How many times has it been said here that MONSANTO DOES NOT MANUFACTURE most of the Glyphosate used here. The patent expired long ago and the stuff comes mainly from China and Russia.
Sceptical / August 20, 2018
Old Codger – “The reason why Chandre has to repeat himself is because some people can’t remember anything beyond two weeks.”
I guess you are judging “most people” by your own standards? Or was it Chandre you were referring to?
“How many times has it been said here that MONSANTO DOES NOT MANUFACTURE most of the Glyphosate used here. The patent expired long ago and the stuff comes mainly from China and Russia.”
So what the hell’s the difference????? Are you also defending Monsanto?
But to get to the point in question, which is: “Chandre, please let us know if Monsanto manufactures ANY products that are not safe to use “.
No answer??? Well here’s some info on it for both you and Chandre to digest:
old codger / August 20, 2018
What sort of “info” is this? Would you expect an “organic” website to say anything good about Monsanto?
“So what the hell’s the difference????? “
What is the point of beating up a bogey that doesn’t exist? Nobody is being paid by Monsanto because Monsanto is not interested.
Sceptical / August 21, 2018
Codger – regardless of the “organic” website’s information on Monsanto’s extensive death-dealing products that kill all manner of organisms other than what a particular cultivator wants to get rid of, what else do you have to say on (for instance) DDT, among the many other Monsanto products that have been banned by the USDA and other agencies around the world?
So for your edification check this – https://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/10/07/monsantos-dirty-dozen-the-12-most-awful-products-made-by-monsanto/. And this ain’t no ‘Organic’ website, so that excuse won’t hold water!
No “bogey’ there Old Codger – and your spin sounds decidedly ‘Trumpian’ – you just don’t want to cop to it – for whatever reasons you have.
old codger / August 21, 2018
It seems you are a true believer in all things organic, and you are welcome to your opinion. But perhaps you are not aware that 35,000 people died of Malaria in this country in 1936, and DDT was heavily used to finally eradicate it, without any apparent ill-effects. Many more would have died, including maybe your ancestors, if the current lot of eco-sceptics were around then.Pesticides and weedicides have their uses. Even the prof. says they must be used responsibly, unlike the idiot in California who regularly spilt Glyphosate on himself.
I am no climate-sceptic spin merchant, in case you think so. I just believe that any accusation MUST have believable evidence, not a mishmash of mumbo-jumbo from websites warning against everything from microwave ovens to HV cables or even coffee, while ignoring real poisons such as diesel smoke or betel-chewing.
ramona therese fernando / August 21, 2018
It’s good that DTT eradicated malaria in 1936. The results were not immediately obvious, but many more had to suffer cancers in the long run. This goes to show that alternative methods need to be used to eradicate mosquitoes, including cleaning up of the environment, and bringing in traditional ways of combating these creatures. Same with Glyphosates. We can’t be ignoring the dangers of it and also upholding its global monetary value. We have to look for alternatives, especially in the traditional ways of looking after our agriculture. We need to be brave and put our money on this. Once many countries get together on this in solidarity, we’d be a much healthier society.
Sceptical / August 22, 2018
Old Codger – OK, I get it.
One can lead the proverbial horse to water but …..
And who’s ignoring the “real poisons” you mention? All of them have had warnings from the same sort of websites you disparage in your defense of Monsanto.
BTW, did you check the https://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/10/07/monsantos-dirty-dozen-the-12-most-awful-products-made-by-monsanto/ ? And if so, what say you?
Kundasale Agriculturist / August 19, 2018
What I mean is that his view on glyphosate has been paraded ad nauseum, so regular readers of CT are well aware of his stance on this controversial subject, . . . .
what are your views on Monsanto’s GM foods
I think he has expressed his view on GM foods also ad nauseum in every one of the articles including this one.
He isdefinitely FOR GM foods.
In fact Canada has been selling GM products to the world for two or three decades. The Parippu we eat is from Canada partly imported to India, and then reexported Most soya products are GM soya. I think most US wheat is also GM
That is why he is defending Glyphosate, the lynchpin of the GM food production. That is also why so many people are opposing glyphosate, and NOT because glyphosate is toxic. It is quite safe.
Jayasumana and people at first claimed that kidney disease is caused by arsenic. But they soon found that it had no international traction. So they hitched their campaign to glyphosate, and this immediately gave them international recognition
We must also ask why people are attacking glyphosate so vehemently, when it has been used for two decades with a good track record in Sri Lanka.
Should we defend glyphosate?
I think we should defend ALL agrochemicals, and allow the Dept. of Agriculture, and the Registrar of Pesticides to decide on their safety, instead of allowing ignorant people like Ven. Ratna to run Sri Lanka’s agriculture. Traditional agricultural methods can feed up to may be three million people. But today we need to feed 22 million.
Rememebr, the yield per hectare of Paddy from traditonal agriculture is about 1.2 metric tons. The yield using modern methods, and modern seeds is about 5 metrc tons pee hectare, and sometimes even six.
So we need people like Dr. Darmawardana who is fearless and not subject to the Sri Lanka government to speak out.
The Dept. of Agriculture scientists and the Registrar of Pesticides are public servants and cannot speak out against powerful politicians like Ven. Ratana, Jayasumana and Champika Ranawaka.
Even University Profs are afraid to go against people like Ven. Ratana, and powerful NGOs who push the Organic food and Toxin-Free nation slogans. The Sinhala newspapers (except Raavaya) do not allow anyone to write against the Jayasumana-Ratana group as you can easily verify. They label the Professors as “Vasha vikunanana mahaachaarya varu”
There is a lot of politics.
sena warnasuriya / August 19, 2018
Can someone tell CT readers who this Grusha Andrews is? Google search does not give any details. Is she a scientist? academic background? Nationality?
Vimala -Shocked by Gursha's Rants / August 19, 2018
What is Gursha’s background?
Clearly, from what she has written so far (including other articles), it is clear that she is anti-Buddhist. No Buddhist would talk of Venerable “Ratana defecating …. etc”. Her mind is a cesspit.
old codger / August 19, 2018
Whatever else Grusha writes, I am 100% with her re. Ratana Hamuduruwo. How can any sensible government allow a totally unqualified person to ruin the agriculture of this country with his simplistic theories? Simply because he wears a robe?
Do not shoot the messenger please.
Native Vedda / August 20, 2018
I feel sorry for you because your memory is fading.
Don’t you know since the mid 1950s Hamuduruwos have been granted license to do as they please including, from ……………………..A …………………to ………..Z under special provisions of Pancha Maha Balawegaya and special status provided by 1971 Constitution.
Vimala-shocked by Gursha's rants / August 20, 2018
One can disagree with Ven. Ratana and I too am quite sure the Monk is a TOTAL NUT when it comes to agriculture and pesticides.
But the monk says Dr. Ranil Senanayake and Dr. Jayasumana are with him, and so he has his supporters.
In any case, while I believe that Ven. Ratana is WRONG, I also think that he sincerely believes that glyphosate is a poison and that you can make Sri Lanka self sufficient using traditional agriculture, using no fertilizers, no herbicides and using traditional seeds.
In reality they will destroy the agricultural system built up painstakingly since the 1930s, by scientists who created high-yielding seeds on the one hand, and by far sighted politicians like DS Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake who spearheaded modern agriculture and modern irrigations works that went beyond the small village tanks that got silted after every monsoon.
You can disagree without descending to the gutter. There is no breeding or an iota of a sense of civility in Grusha Andrews writings, as this is “MariyaKade” style to talk of defecating etc.
Gursha had also attacked Sangakkara and others below the belt in a previous article.
old codger / August 20, 2018
“You can disagree without descending to the gutter. “
You have a point there. Grusha’s language is a bit over the top sometimes. Is her Sinhala writing the same?
old codger / August 21, 2018
This is also a good reason why the clergy should not get involved in politics. They will be attacked like any other politicians.
Nilmini Kodithuwakku / August 20, 2018
I hope Aggona Chandare did not steal the name from Chandre Dharmawaradane, the eminent scientist
Chuti Baba / August 20, 2018
I have compared analysis of both Chandre and Rathana. My God Rathana is in the kindergarten. The man doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Ko Ko Me Podi Putha / August 20, 2018
We have people like Dharmawaradane to safeguard our nation, but after his demise?
V. Palashanthiran / August 20, 2018
Hi Kundasale man
What you say is true.
Government scientists and even University Profs will not cross swords with the likes of Ven. Ratana and Minister Champika Ranawarka, or even younger types like Jayasumana who is working hard to become a politician.
So I am sure Dr. Dharmawardana’s interventions are a welcome relief to them.
As for Gursha Andrews, I don’t think she knows much about glyphosate. In some places in her essay she talkes of GLYPHOSPHATE. You can’t make such a mistake or excuse it as a typo.
What credentials does she have, to write about pesticides and such technical matters?
K.Pillai / August 20, 2018
Most academics tolerate a bit of criticism. Do you?
The glyphosate is still contentious. Yet you say ~ “…….The Jury erred in linking Johnson’s Lymphoma to glyphosate……..”.
Then you go on ~ “……May be the Jurors were like Grusha Andrews in their mindset………”.
As a layman on this issue I suggest you moderate your stand and language.
The unkindest cut of all is the last sentence ~ “This is a very serious libelous and unsubstantiated charge that can be taken up through the proper channels to seek justice, unless the author withdraws them forthwith and clarifies her position, or provides evidence to substantiate her claims”.
One may well ask “Will you pay expenses?”
And another one “Jury Trial?”. If ‘Yes”, how can we ensure that the jury is no street-people.
Nadarasa, Chemist / August 21, 2018
To Pillai who is clearly of unsound mind ( Pillai தி பைத்தியம் ?)
Krazy Pillai (aka K. Pillai) asks “Will you pay the expenses”.
K. Pillai had better mean that Gursha will have to pay expenses if this goes to courts unless she has evidence to substantiate what she says. She should also pay for damages to the reputation of a distinguished scientist.
Yes, if Grusha Andrews stated that Dr. Dharmawardana was receiving payments from Monsanto for writing articles about Glyphosate then she should have solid evidence before she say could say such libel against an over-eighty year old scientist who was a University Vice Chancellor and a science advisor to Mr. T. B. Subasinghe and the then govt. in the 1970s.
The Professors libeled by Mr. Jayasumana in a sinhala book should take the matter up in courts. One of the scientists whovery early on guessed correctly that the cause of Kidney disease in the NCP to be due to Fluoride in hard well water was professor Oliver Illeperuma.
I am told that he has been libeled and brutalized in the book by Jayasumana (I haven’t read it because my Sinhalese is not good enough).
People who have been libeled by Jayasumana should take up the matter and unsure justice.
K.Pillai / August 21, 2018
The name-calling in your first sentence is the type prevalent in primary school.
Choi Dharmadasa / August 22, 2018
Is it true that Chandre Dharmawardane is shortlisted as best Chemist by Nobel committee?