22 September, 2018

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How Do You Sleep At Night? A Response To Chandre Dharmawardana

By Grusha Andrews – 

“All scientific work is incomplete, and is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge”1 _ Sir Austin Bradford Hill (1965)

Photo credit – e-RSE.net

Corruption and privilege are cosy bedfellows. Sexier bed fellows are corrupt privilege and hypocrisy. Shameless are those privileged, who, cocooned in civilized and safer societies advocate danger, health hazards, lack of regulations and death for ‘lesser humans’. Living in societies with abundant consumer protection where governments perceive safety of their citizenry as a natural obligation, certain devil’s advocates preach death and disease for the ‘lesser masses’ in poorer countries. Chandre Dharmawardana a specimen of a ‘scientist’ who is using scientific jargon to advocate cancer, chronic kidney disease and death to Sri Lankans is living safely in Canada. He has recently a written an article to Colombo Telegraph, distorting epidemiological theory to suit his advocacy for Glyphosate. It appears that Sri Lankan humans are lesser than lab monkeys or guinea pigs to such men of stunning scientific immorality. For them, people in Sri Lanka are but moving masses of flesh, blood, serum, cells to toxify, test, and kill. Nothing seems to haunt classless “scientists”. The Nazis who performed trials on captured Jews, the Caucasians who trialled gynaecological instruments on Negro women without anaesthesia or their consents – these are the likely ideological progenitors of men who have the immoral audacity to consistently advocate to ‘lesser humans’ what they protect themselves from in their countries of residence. 

Seriously, Colombo Telegraph, you might as well feature Nazis, rapists and paedophiles. 

Fundamental Folly Of The GMOA: Natha Deyyo

The fundamental failure of the medical profession in being sound and sincere advocates for agrochemical safety lies in the hands of the nincompoop-hood of Dr. Anurudha Padeniya and his hilarious cult of Natha Deyyo worshippers. A team of cult worshippers including Padeniya, Prof. Channa Jayasumana et al, reduced what should have been a serious and a cerebral scientific discourse in to a stupid saga of idol worshipping mumbo-jumbo playing right in to the hands of the agro chemical industry and scientific Nazis of despicable calibre. Athuraliye Rathana, the extremist Buddhist monk defecated on an already muddy unscientific pit that Padeniya et al steered the agro chemical debate in Sri Lanka through his inflammatory and disruptive discourse on the matter, insulting scientists and outshouting moderate proponents. Their fundamental reason for professing that agrochemicals had a causative effect on Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDU) was that the ghost of Natha Deyya (the spirit of a local deity) came to them in a dream and said so. Fairy Tale Theatre, anyone? This also begs the question: what kind of decerebrated morons sit at the Ethics Review Committees of faculties of medicine which sanction research based on unverifiable joo-joo of this nature? 

By reducing a valuable scientific discourse to a cultural debate between those who demanded evidence from western knowledge and the Kattadi Gang of Padeniya et al, the GMOA backed imbeciles who were essentially the political stooges of Mahinda Rajapaska meated the mouths of the likes of Chandre Dharmawardana to ridicule the effect of agrochemicals on human health and to establish themselves as voices of moderation and reason. 

The idiocy of Padeniya, Rathana, and Jayasumana (who was a coordinating secretary of Mahinda Rajapaksa for Anuradhapura district and candidate of SLFP under Rajapaksa rule) et al does not absolve Chandre Dharmawardana and his team of devil’s advocates from their criminality towards the human beings of Sri Lanka. 

Devil’s Advocate’s Cunning Omission

Chandre Dharmawardana, in his most recent article to Colombo Telegraph titled “Can A California Jury Decide If A Pesticide Caused Gardener Johnson’s Cancer?” tries to mispresent the theory of causality by esteemed epidemiologist Sir Austin Bradford Hill to present his apologist case for Glyphosate and agro chemicals in general. He mentions a 7 item criteria, misquoting Hill. In Dharamawardana’s version, the Hill criteria for causality constitute of strength of association, consistency, plausibility, coherence, experimental evidence, analogy and the absence of disease when the suspected causal agent is absent. In reality what Dharmawardana has done is to cunningly mislead the readers by presenting the 9 ITEM CRITERIA of Hill as a 7 time criteria2. The two important criteria  that Dharmawardana has conveniently left out are biological gradient and temporality. 

Biological gradient: simply means that when the dose of the causative agent increases, the chance of developing the disease increases. Which is the case with all notorious agrochemicals. 

Temporality: simply means the longer a person is exposed to the causative agent the higher the chance of developing the disease. 

No prizes for guessing why. 

Glyphosphate: Grade 2a Carcinogen As Per WHO 

Glyphosate is a herbicide first registered for use in the US in 1974. Monsanto markets Glyphosate as part of the pesticide Roundup. Several studies found that high doses administered to laboratory animals caused cancer, although the evidence is ‘limited’ when it comes to humans (for obvious ethical reasons human testing cannot be done except in observational studies). 

In March 2015, the World Health Organization ranked Glyphosate a Group 2a carcinogen, a substance that probably causes cancer in people. Monsanto, the Company possessing the patent for Roundup vehemently denied that its product causes cancer and says and more than 800 studies that have established its safety. Yet more than 4,000 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits – 800 over the past year – claiming Monsanto made them or members of their family sick.

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? But 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. 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?

The Countries That Have Banned Glyphosate

The list of countries that have banned Glyphosate on the based on the precautionary principle includes the country of Dharmawardana’s residence – Canada. This list will also prove to the lay readers how countries with serious citizen rights act on the best advice of technocrats and experts in instances where the establishments of the causal relationship between exposures and diseases are still underway. They do not sacrifice generations of humans at the altar of experimentation. They act on the best evidence available and exercise scientific prudence. For them their citizens including Chandre Dharmawardana are not guinea pigs. Following is the list of countries that have banned Glyphosate3:

Argentina: Over 30,000 health care professionals advocated for a Glyphosate ban following the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) report on Glyphosate, which concluded on its carcinogenicity.  

Australia

Belgium: Banned the individual use of Glyphosate. In 2017, Belgium voted against relicensing Glyphosate in the EU. 

Bermuda: Outlawed private and commercial sale of all Glyphosate-based herbicides. 

Brazil: In August of 2018, a federal judge in Brasilia ruled that new products containing Glyphosate could not be registered in the country. Existing regulations concerning Glyphosate were also suspended, pending a government re-evaluation of toxicological data.

Canada: Eight out of the 10 provinces in Canada have some form of restriction on the use of non-essential cosmetic pesticides, including Glyphosate. 

Colombia: In 2015, Colombia outlawed the use of Glyphosate to destroy illegal plantations of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine, out of concern that Glyphosate cause’s cancer. However, in January of 2017, the country reinstituted its controversial Glyphosate fumigation program for coca. However now only manual spraying is allowed and aerial fumigation is banned.  

Denmark: The Danish Working Environment Authority declared Glyphosate to be carcinogenic and has recommended a change to less toxic chemicals. In July of 2018, the Danish government implemented new rules banning the use of Glyphosate on all post-emergent crops to avoid residues on foods.

El Salvador: Banned Glyphosate over links to deadly kidney disease.

England: A number of townships, including Brighton, Frensham, Hammersmith & Fulham, Bristol, Glastonbury, Frome, Erewash, North Somerset and Lewes 

France: In November of 2017, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would issue an outright ban on Glyphosate within the next three years.

Germany: In January of 2018, Germany’s began the process of banning Glyphosate. Certain retail stores in Germany have also pulled glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup from shelves.

Greece: Greece was one of nine EU countries to vote against relicensing Glyphosate in November of 2017. However, in March of 2018, the Greek government approved a five-year license for Monsanto’s Roundup against the wishes of Greek environmentalists.

Italy: In 2016, the Italian government banned the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest treatment and placed restrictions on Glyphosate use in areas frequented by the public. In November of 2017, Italy was one of seven EU nations to vote against relicensing Glyphosate.

Luxembourg: One of Luxembourg’s largest supermarket chains removed Glyphosate from its shelves following the release of the IARC Glyphosate report. •Malta: Malta began the process of instituting countrywide ban of Glyphosate. However, Environment Minister José Herrera backtracked in January of 2017, saying the country would continue to oppose Glyphosate in discussions but would fall in line with the European Union and wait for further studies. 

Netherlands: Banned all non-commercial use of Glyphosate.

New Zealand: The cities of Auckland and Christchurch passed resolutions to reduce the usage of chemicals for weed and pest control in public places. The Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility, a New Zealand charitable trust, called for a Glyphosate ban in 2015.

Portugal: Prohibits the use of Glyphosate in all public spaces. 

Scotland: Aberdeen cut back its use of herbicides and Edinburgh’s City Council voted to phase out Glyphosate. In November of 2017, five of Scotland’s six EU parliamentarians voted in favour of a motion that would phase out Glyphosate by 2022.

Slovenia: Slovenia was one of six EU member states to sign a 2018 letter to the European Commission citing “concerns” about the risks associated with Glyphosate. •Spain: According to Kistiñe Garcia of the Spanish NGO, Ecologistas en Acción, Barcelona, Madrid, Zaragoza and the region of Extremuda have decided to ban Glyphosate. 

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka was the first country to issue a nationwide ban on Glyphosate. However, in 2018, the government decided to lift the ban due to crop losses and overgrowing weeds.

Sweden: Raised concerns about Glyphosate safety and has pushed against relicensing the herbicide in the EU. In 2017, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (SCA) announced it was planning to tighten rules on private use of plant protection products. In due time, private consumers may not be permitted to use herbicides containing Glyphosate.

Switzerland: The Swiss supermarket chains Migros and Coop removed Glyphosate-based products from their shelves due to health risks. In 2017, the Green party put forth a plan to ban Glyphosate in Switzerland. The proposed plan was rejected by the Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive.

USA: States of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia have banned Glyphosates.

Just look at how the world is reacting to Glyphosate.

Chandre Dharmawardana, how do you lay your head and sleep at night? 

References

1. Hill AB. The environment and disease: association or causation? Proc R Soc Med. 1965; 58:295–300. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

2. Fedak KM, Bernal A, Capshaw ZA, Gross S. Applying the Bradford Hill criteria in the 21st century: how data integration has changed causal inference in molecular epidemiology. Emerging Themes in Epidemiology. 2015;12:14. doi: 10.1186/s12982-015-0037-4.

3. https://www5.baumhedlundlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/glyphosate-banned-map-img.jpg

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Latest comments

  • 16
    0

    Congratulations to the writer for an excellent article.
    Not only has Dharmawardana presented a case to deny the cause of this monumental crisis with ‘science’, he and his colleagues have even made bogus claims with ‘inventions’. Such is the case in this article published in Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 2015, 37(2):221-31. A pdf can be obtained at the link below.

    http://slwater.iwmi.org/sites/default/files/DocumentRoot/article-DADP.pdf

    Could anyone name the branch of river Mahaweli extending South bound near Badulla? There is no such river – not in that position
    What is been done is to show that Hill Country water has no bearing on the condition known as ‘CKDu’. CKDu is rampant in Moneragala, Wellewaya, Tissamaharama…..They all get rice cultivation water from Hill Country via Kirindhi Oya, Malala Oya, Kuda Oya, Walawe ganga, Badulu Oya…..

    Note to editor: you may publish my email.

  • 5
    0

    Thank you Grusha Andrews for the well researched and compiled article. You would have spent quite a while the researching. Hope your effort initiates some lateral thinking.
    Chandre Dharmawardana did just enough reading to enable him to write what he wrote. He had it appearing in SL and that is all that matters.
    Grusha, You posed the question to Chandre ~ “How Do You Sleep At Night?”
    Very well thank you. Climate skeptics do – thanks to multi-nationals.

    • 5
      0

      Chandre is still in bed!

    • 1
      0

      He cannot be a climate skeptic. See what he has written in the Colombo Telegraph about global warming and what happens to Sri Lanka, and in particular to the Jaffna Penninsula:
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-tenth-province-or-coastal-authority-to-deal-with-climate-change/

    • 0
      0

      OK, OK, Grusha, you have unleashed another outburst against perceived environmental poisons, supported by the deluded organic brigade. But you have been careful to dissociate yourself from the loonies like Ratana Hamuduruwo and the Natha Deviyo gang. But let us analyze the issue:
      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.

      • 1
        0

        Oldcodger,
        ” What was used? Indian Tamil labour, at the time cheap and freely available. “
        Many Sri Lankan problems boil down to the well-known laziness of the Sinhalese. They are ever ready to claim rights over others, but never willing to work like the others.

  • 7
    0

    Thanks for the timely intervention.

  • 8
    0

    Chandra Dharmawardhana, as an academic, as a teacher is shameless dishonest. Read the following articles and many other related articles how Glyphosate have poisoned the FOOD CHAIN.= and human food. Bacteria are important for many purposes in soil. It says, glyphosate is toxic even to bacteria when it is held for long tiems in the soil. https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/27/how-extreme-levels-of-roundup-in-food-became-the-industry-norm/

  • 5
    0

    I am not a scientist but a bean counter. I use my common knowledge. About 40 years ago, we did not have glyposate and we have grown tea, rubber, coconut and paddy. My father was a paddy farmer and I used to work with him in the paddy field.

    So that, my common “Appuhamy” knowledge tells me that this poison weed killer should be banned to protect our environment and for long lasting sustainability of our country.

    As a Past President of the USJ (VC), he should be ashamed to write articles supporting this poison weed killer.

  • 3
    2

    It is fashionable to thrash the multinationals to get cheap popularity as evidenced by this article. Such articles receive wide publicity in the press and also supported by the multi million dollar organic food industry. I have some simple questions to this writer about glyphosate use and cancer.(a) has any work done in Sri Lanka which links glyphosate to cancer. In Sri Lanka it was banned with the mistaken belief that it causes kidney disease and not cancer. Gluphosate use does not explain why this disease is prevalent only in certain highly specific areas of the country why glyphosate use is much more widespread. Is there a higher incidence of cancer in the hill country where it is extensively used? In the USA scientists found that in a study involving 90,000 farmers there is no link between cancer and glyphosate. The WHO has used results from a flawed experiment carried out by US EPA several years back to classify it as a class 2A carcinogen.
    Dr Dharmawardane is a respected scientist and he can sleep well knowing very well that he has contributed to counter the humbug propagated by Channa Jayasumena, his Natha Deviyo followers and the GMOA.

    • 5
      0

      The writer asks, how does Chandare sleep. By his record, quite comfortably it looks like. Monsanto must be paying well for so-called scientists prepared to its dirty ‘vandibatta, work.

      Also, Appuhamy says he is a ‘respected’ scientist. respeced by whom? Monsanto death merchants?

    • 2
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      1. no one is refuting the fact that Pandeniya, Jayasumana and the Natha Deyyo gang are saying some thing that culminates in to concrete scientific evidence. That is what the writer is trying to highlight- that they made the scientific debate about agro chemicals a cultural one and played in to the hands of multinationals.

      2. In Sri Lanka glyphosphate was banned on precautionary principle , not for a specific cause. It is a theory used in the developed world to prevent public health disasters while waiting for concrete evidence.

      3. Do you have evidence that hill counry have mor prevalence of cancers? If so please be kind to share it with the rest.

      4. Please share the evidence of the study involving 90 000 farmers. Surely There should be a scientific paper on a groundbreaking research such as that

      5. WHO evidence is resulted form a flawed research must also have some scientific evidence. In that case it should have been proven and WHO would have accepted or refuted such allegation.

      Please be kind to share with us your claims,if you do have the evidence. That way this discussion will be more fruitful to everyone.

  • 2
    1

    No one should underestimate the work done by Prof Jayasumana, Dr Padeniya, Prof Nalin, Prof Siribaddana on this issue. Unless they appear and bring the issue to the national level nobody will talk on this. It is easy to criticize and work on computer key board but ground level work is far beyond that. If you read the book “Wakugadu Satana” by Jayasumana it shows the level of dedication by these set of people.

  • 3
    2

    Not only Dharmawardhana is a dishonest man, he is also a Singhala racist trying to Sinhalize Tamil place names in the north and east. Shameless.

    • 1
      3

      Who illegally converted the name Batakotte into Vaddukoddai? Even in 1900 the place was called Batakotte. Even the american seminary there had a name board with “Battakotte” till the seminary building was taken over in the late 19th century.

      You can also see the sinhala names in the Dutch maps of the period, and in Portuguese books like those of de Queroz. It is not just Dharmawardana who has given the sinhala place names. See the writings of British civil servants of that Era like Horsburg, Danton, Paul E Peris, or Tamil writers like Rasanayagam or more recently Prof. Karthigesu Indrapala whose Ph.D thesis at London University is a partial source of Dharmawardana’s compilation.
      (see his website http://dh-web.org/placenames for source information)
      Anyway, just as Dharmawardana is correct about those place names, he is completely correct about glyhosate being perfectly safe.

      You can have your Tamil names, we sinhlalese can use our sinhalized forms.

      London is called Londres by the French. Brussels is called Bruxelles by the French. Why should we call talk of a Vaddukkoddai or Killinochchi when the traditional sinhala names were Batakotte and Giranikke respectively. Battakoote was a fort (Kotte) where soldiers (Bata) were stationed against the south Indian aggressor. Giraanikke was a forest sanctuary of Nika trees for parrots (Giraa)

      • 1
        0

        Dear Parakrama Bahu,
        .
        You may be right, but does all that matter?
        .
        The phonemes of Sinhala and Tamil are different. “We” shamefully used that to identify Tamils-for-slaughter in 11958 and in 1983, asking them what a “bucket” was called.
        .
        Saying “paldiya” instead of “baldiya” was a death warrant. We must leave that horrible past behind us. By the way, when speaking English, what do you call, Colombo, Kandy, Jaffna, Negombo and Chilaw. I’m sure that with you the pronunciations for the towns of Kurunegala, Kalutara and Badulla are safe, but I must acknowledge that I tend to say Tangalle and Kegalle in the “Thuppahi Way”.
        .
        Some of us must invent a quarrel, even when there’s nothing to quarrel about, mustn’t we? The greater danger to the Sinhalese language comes from within. Today I was talking with a non-English speaking villager; talking in Sinhalese, obviously. He said that he was going to “Trinco” next week!
        .
        Please, let us live and let-live.

        • 0
          0

          So it was Sivapalan who invented the quarrel? The first-sinhala tamil roit occured in 1939 when G. G. Ponnambalam attacked the sinhalese calling them a mongreal race, whle the Tamils are the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka. The riot led to the buring of many shops but the Biritish quickly deployed forced and quenched it in one day.

          Go to Dehiwela ot Kotahena and see how the Tamil neame boards have changed the names to KottaChena and Dehivelai.

          Live and let live.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Parakramabahu aka Glypho Dharme aka Vibhushana,
          We know about your fake Jaffnahistory.com website, where original maps from Dutch archives are shown, without the facility to enlarge them. When one accesses the real Dutch websites, the place names are clearly visible. Vaddukodai is Batecotte, quite different from “Bata cotte”.The website http://www.gahetna.nl/en/collectie/afbeeldingen/kaartencollectie/zoeken/start/16/weergave/detail/tstart/0/q/zoekterm/ceylon does not mention any “Giranikke” or even Kilinochchi in that location.There are plenty of Tamil names in Jaffna, as well as a string of Tamil names along the West coast, such as Calture, Mature, Ginture, Waikkal,etc. In fact one of the few recognizable Sinhala names on this coast is “Galkisse”:
          http://www.gahetna.nl/en/collectie/afbeeldingen/kaartencollectie/zoeken/weergave/detail/start/6/tstart/0/q/zoekterm/ceylon

      • 0
        1

        You are trying to make a word with coin two nouns. That is not working for you. What is that meant Army-Fort? King is below the army in that fort? In any case Padai(bata) & Koddai(kotta) – both are Tamil words in any case.

        • 0
          0

          So then why did you change BataKotte to Vaddukoddai around 1900 if the words are Tamil?

          Bhata is a sanskrit word borrowed into tamil after the Gupta incursions to the south. Same with Fort (kort, Kotuva etc in the prkrit and sinhala forms). Even the english word Fort is connected to the North Indian Kort, Kotuva etc

          See K. Velu Pillai in Yalpana Vaibhava Kaumudi written long before Chandre Dharmawardana or Kathigesu Indrapala or anyone else started on this topic where the sinhala names which were tamilized are given.

          • 0
            0

            Dear Parakrama Bahu,
            .
            You’re right about this particular exchange on place names being started by Sivapalan. I consider it trivial. You need not share my view. Why not move on to something more worthwhile?
            .
            Had the Sinhala lettering on a name board been effaced and the Tamil version been imposed on us, it would be rather more provocative, but I certainly will not get hysterical. When Tamils talk, let them use whatever sounds they want to. I understand so little of the language that my mind just shuts off when I hear the language being spoken.

  • 5
    0

    Some scientists are “purchased” by worldwide commercial entities which make billions in profits.

  • 2
    1

    Dear Sivapalan,
    .
    It’s not uncommon to have all sorts of evil qualities bundled together in an individual.
    .
    However, let’s try to keep this discussion rational. “Appuhamy” raises issues that I hope Dr Gammampila (my class-mate) will respond to. Some of the things that Dr Kamal G. and I have been discussing seem relevant, but I know too little Chemistry. I sent him the links last night, Grusha. Also to Jeevan Hoole’s daughter, who wrote this some time ago:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/jaffna-awaits-the-silent-killer-chronic-kidney-disease/
    .
    Dr Ranil Senanayake, too, has something on more or less the same subject, posted after this fine article by Grusha.
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/astroturfing-with-glyphosate/
    .
    He’s pretty sound on these subjects, but not on ethnic matters!
    .
    Ms Maralathoni, there makes the pertinent comment: “Talented countries would do organic farming but Lankans have been born lazy men.”
    .
    Roshan Rajadurai seemed aware of the social aspects, but I didn’t listen carefully enough to these 7 minutes:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9S9Lc6R3hA
    .

    • 2
      2

      Dear Sivapalan
      So you want to couple ethnic studies with Glyphosate!. Let me tell you,
      I have been farming in an area south of Point Pedro for many years, and even during the war. Although fertilizers were banned, I could get any fertilizer I wanted from the right people who brought the stuff over from India. When the government banned Glyphosate, we could still it, and it was almost cheaper to get it across the sea than to get it from Colombo.
      Now, having used it for many decades, I can assure you that NO ONE has got sick because of the use of pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. The idea that you can do it all manually and get the same yields is NONSENSE.
      Furthermore, you can’t stand in the hot sun the whole day, especially now a days with a shortage of manual labour. You can’t use water to control weeds as we don’t have enough water.
      So people who write about traditional methods of agriculture, and “organic farming” are just planning to cater to a very limited segment of society and the rice of our produce will be at least a factor of five to ten, depending on the product. Given that some people in the country do not even earn a subsistence wage, they will have to starve if we go back to old agriculture, traditional seeds, and not use weedicides etc. Weedicides like glyphosate are completely harmless as far as my experience goes. I apply it (of course, after diluting to the appropriate level) without using gloves or face masks etc., as it is very very safe.
      I know it because we have used it.

      • 1
        0

        Correction. I first began using Glyphosate in 2005.
        Even during the war we could get Kerosene and Batteries thanks to the Husband of Vijayakala (UNP MP) who being an MP could bring all sorts of contraband and sell at an enormous profit. He did not sell fertilizer. The LTTE initially fell out with him I think in splitting profits and in his failure to supply enough of what the LTTE wanted. There were of course other problems that is irrelavant to the agrochemicals discussion in these columns, and so we don’t need to go into them.

  • 3
    0

    Whether glyphosate made a contribution or not CKDu can be accounted for by cadmium and lead in rice. Glyphosate and its residues were found in the kidneys in the MOH/WHO study of 2013 demonstrating exposure to those agents. It is likely that glyphosate will have deleterious effects on our health. It takes several years, typically decades to prove a causative effect.

    Our crisis is one of monumental ecological degradation. There are many lessons to be learnt for the whole world.

    The following article (link) by me may help to understand the intricacies of this crisis known as CKDu.
    There are a few mistakes and typos, please excuse. On the graphs y-axis should read ‘Cadmium (micrograms/kg) instead of ‘g’. Para 8 should read ‘Children and adults’ in that order.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Can-we-rule-out-GLYPHOSATE-in-CKDu–151152.html

  • 1
    3

    Glyphosate does not cause cancer or renal diseases. This large long-term study focused on the glyphosate use by agricultural workers in the United States–found no firm link between exposure to the pesticide and cancer.
    https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article-abstract/110/5/509/4590280?redirectedFrom=fulltext
    doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djx233.
    Glyphosate causes cancer? – large scientific study says no
    Toxicologist critical of ‘dodgy science’ in glyphosate bans
    By the end of 2015, gardeners in the Netherlands will not be able to buy the common herbicide, glyphosate.
    The Netherlands joins Sri Lanka and El Salvador in banning glyphosate, with pressure from interest groups mounting in other countries.
    The backyard ban coincides with a World Health Organisation ruling that it probably causes cancer.
    But Australian toxicologist Dr Ian Musgrave said the ban flies in the face of good science, as glyphosate (commonly sold as Roundup) is ranked 2A, lower than alcoholic beverages and formaldehyde, which are class one proven carcinogens.
    “Glyphosate is a fairly non-toxic chemical to humans,” he said.
    “In fact, if you tried to get the concentrations we see in animal studies, you’d have to eat something like a half a kilogram of glyphosate a day.
    “If you tried to eat the same amount of sodium chloride, table salt, you’d be very sick indeed.”
    Dr Musgrave said the WHO ruling did not release the study behind its findings, and it came as a surprise to toxicologists in Europe.
    “The European toxicology panel realised in 2014 an extensive review of the carcinogenicity and toxicity of glyphosate coming to the conclusion that there is no substantial cancer risk,” he said.
    A web search turns up dozens of articles of health concern about glyphosate, which Dr Musgrave debunks.

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      Apppuhamy,

      So how can you explain the rise in cancer and kidney disease in Sri Lanka? Yes, you would need to eat 1/2 kilo of glyphosate to get sick very fast, but there aren’t probably any longitudinal studies of its effect on animals. Table salt and alcohol have been in use for 1,000’s of years, but need we add this extra chemical to our diet? Formaldehyde shouldn’t be there either (most foods at least don’t contain formaldehyde, so there’s no need to speak of it in relation to glyphosate).

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        Ramona, Glyphosate story is very complicated, if we needed a weedicide Glyphosate is the safest according to prevailing science, the other alternative is weeding manually and at the current labour cost that is prohibitive. We used weed killers from the 40s or 50s, and 2,4,D was very popular (another possible carcinogen) and also Gramexone, an acute poison as well as proven to induce Parkinsons, The Glyposate link to CkDU is week at best and even that only in Sri Lanka, not in other countries with CKDU, also New Zealand use the highest per capita Glyphosate but no CKDU. CKDU is likely a consequence of multiple causative agents including genetics. We need more mutinational muti-Institutional studies on CKDU. Worst is to make it into a political football.

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          wannihami,

          “…the other alternative is weeding manually and at the current labour cost that is prohibitive.”

          No, there are other traditional organic means to get rid of weeds, but it is not conducive to GoSL+entrepreneurial prosperity, in line with publicly-listed chemicals on the global market.

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          I’ve just seen this on a blog that has only just appeared:
          .
          https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/report-warns-dangers-pesticide-found-common-oat-products
          .
          Chemistry was never my favourite subject. I leave it those more proficient to evaluate this.

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      Is your job secure now at AVPM, you mercenary? Just asking.

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    All to do with the private entrepreneur bringing in globally publicly-listed chemicals for experimentation on Sri Lankan soil and people. Easy cut for all entrepreneurs involved. But the intricate path of implementing traditional weed-killing techniques is too much brain-work and little global money for GoSL (in league with the entrepreneurs). So, the trend is: Lankan entrepreneurs (GoSL & Co) to make money and sell Lankan produce to India, who is selling theirs to China, who is building housing-projects and industrials sites at a frenzy on their ancient farmlands, in an attempt to take over the Globe.

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    ACcording to a news report:
    Singapore-Sri Lanka free trade agreement (SSLFTA). In response to a query by the moderator on a section in the controversial agreement, which provides for shipping toxic waste here, to Sri lanka, the so called toxin free nation. (See Island Editorial)

    So, if Sri Lanka is going to be waste dump for Singapore, why worry about tiny traces of Glyposate that can only be detected by the most sensitive spectroscopes, if at all!.

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    Prof. Dharmawardana’s article seems a composed and coherently argued composition on the strength of a jury’s ability to decide on a complex scientific problem in such a short time.

    Ms. Andrews’ ‘reply’ is a vitriolic personal attack thinly disguised as scientific argument.

    While accusing Dharmawardana of misrepresenting the Hill criteria, she has manipulated facts, by showing the withdrawal of glyphosate by a supermarket chain as banning by a country for example. She is guilty of the same intellectual dishonesty she accuses Dharmawardana of

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    I challenge Dr Chandra Dharmawardana or any other so-called scientists who say that Glyphosate is not carcinogenic to prove their conclusion by spilling roundup over their body. They should have the confidence to do it as they say it with so much conviction.

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    I did a Google search to find who Gursha Andrews is. What is her background? What is her academic record? There is not a singe entry with her name. Strange? Can someone help? Or can Gursha Andrews enlighten us?

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      nimal: Grusha is using her common sense like THE jury (or any jury).

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