20 September, 2018

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The “Toxin-Free Nation” & Its Black-Market In Glyphosate

By Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

The government banned  the popular herbicide  known as “Glyphosate” in 2105 using the epidemic of Kidney Disease in the Rajarata as justification for its drastic action. It proposed to create a “toxin free nation” eventually banning agrochemicals. Ven. Athuraliye Rathana is Sri Lanka’s presidential adviser on agriculture, promising to “rid the country of toxins”. He angrily and passionately holds forth like a modern-day Savonarola. But, unlike Savonarola’s  moral anger, Ven. Ratana’s anger is based on  misinformation  that  totally dominates the internet, and the rejection of main-stream scientific opinion. Having embraced  fake news and exploiting  public fear as its selling point, Ven. Rathana talks of glyphosate killing all bacteria, microbes and soil organisms when it is used in agriculture. In fact earthworms and other soil organisms thrive better in its presence. But he has come forward as the saviour of the nation against this alleged “evil toxin  poisoning the whole environment and the food chain, triggering  innumerable diseases including the chronic kidney disease ravaging the Rajarata”!

On 23rd August the Derana TV  program “Aluth Parlimenthuwa” had assembled a discussion panel  led by Ven. Rathana. Others were an ex-minister of agriculture, i.e., Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena(MYA), Namal Karunaratne (NK) of the “Samastha Govijana Sammelanaya” (a Farmers’ League) , Dr. Priyanka Yapa (PY) of the  Sabaragamuwa University, and Asoka Abeygunawardana (AA). The latter is a government ideologue pushing “sustainable agriculture” and  a so-called  “strategic enterprise management agency” –  SEMA. To some extent Asoka A  is  what Lysenko was to Soviet agriculture.  There was also a  selected set of   “members of the audience”  brought from Trincomalee, Dambulla  Kurunegala etc. Their role was  to ask  rhetorical  “questions” vigorously supporting the  “doing away with all agrochemicals”, not just glyphosate. The  veteran  figures from  Sri Lanka’s science, agriculture,  health,  or experts from  the plantation institutes or the WHO  were conspicuously absent and presumably not invited. In my view, only the ex-minister MYA talked some sense, i.e., stated scientifically valid things about toxins. Namal Karunaratne correctly described the plight of the farmers;  but he as well as his co-panelists were totally wrong on toxicology and agrochemicals.

Namal Karunaratne correctly pointed out that Sri Lanka  has been importing Soya products and soya milk grown using glyphosate technology from the West  for many years. He raised the specter of a poisoned nation ranging from babies to grand mothers. And yet, given decades of such soya consumption, we cannot find anyone stricken down by the alleged toxicity of glyphosate! None  noted that Sri Lanka has consumed Canadian Lentils (“parippu”)  and Canola oil for decades, grown with GM (“genetically modified”) agricultural  technologies intensively using glyphosate.

Nalaka Karunaratne noted that 40% of the fruits and vegetables produced by our farmers go waste due to lack of food preservation technologies and markets. Minutes before, it was noted that a fruit imported from Australia would remain on the table for “months” while the Sri Lanka fruit which rots  in a few  days was claimed to be healthy, “natural” and safer to eat. Not one “expert” panelist noted that the Australian fruit is simply coated with a layer of perfectly harmless wax which seals its aroma, its moisture, and prevents pathogens and mold spores from attacking the fruit. The wax can be washed off with hot water! But then, the toxin-free nation wants natural untreated fruits and nothing less. Let the farmers loose 40% of their produce!

Priyanka Yapa and Asoka A uttered the usual litany of lies about the green revolution and the capabilities of “alternative agriculture” that I have heard from Californian activists, revealing the source of their  borrowed ideas. Dr. Yapa even stated that he “learned organic agriculture” from the West, while attacking Glyphosate as a “Western product”. Amazingly,  he was willing to accept a toxin if produced in Sri Lanka itself!   Priyanka Y mentioned several “alternative techniques” for killing weeds using equipment imported from China (not the West!) as alternatives to glyphosate. Every one of them are well known to most of us old hands, as being  environmentally very harmful and rather ineffective, unlike glyphosate which is effective, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. These alternatives proposed by Priyanka Yapa, e.g., infrared rays, or flames, microwaves  attack all bugs, good and bad, in trying to “burn” the weeds. Gyphosate  acts only on green plants, and does not harm worms, beetles, and other organisms (as long as they do not use photosynthesis- i.e., not in the plant kingdom). Far from killing micro-organisms and earthworms, glyphosate actually helps to remove metal toxins like cadmium (by chelation) from the soil  and allows earth worms to flourish in soils inhospitable to organic life before the use of glyphosate, as has been demonstrated by Chinese scientists who studied extremely contaminated soils (see. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. Volume 33, pages 2351–2357, year 2014.)

I have always held that the ban on glyphosate should never have been imposed. It should be lifted, NOT  just for the benefit of the big tea plantations, but for the small-scale farmer, the vegetable farmer and all others. MYA (the ex-Minister) admitted that even after the ban, most practical-minded farmers (including himself) without ideological blinkers have used the glyphosate freely available at black-market in “the toxin-free nation” of Venerable Rathana, just as duty-free cars of MPs are available in the black market.

While Ven. Rathana and his team regard  Glyphosate as the very devil itself, the  vast majority of scientists (including those in Sri Lanka) consider glyphosate to be benign and NOT a health risk. Its “toxicity” is similar to that of Lifebuoy soap. The International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) of the WHO declared it a class-II hazard (i.e., similar to “eating red meat” in the ability to cause cancer) in 2014. The WHO and the FAO clarify that it is not a health risk at all and issued a press release on 16th May 2016. The FAO-WHO Joint Committee on Pesticide Residues effectively says that even a few tea spoons of full strength glyphosate consumed daily is quite safe!  It is so safe that it may be sprayed without wearing gloves and goggles, even using  formulations like “Roundup” which contain  toxic additives like tallowamine to help bind to  leaves. This is  because the quantity in the spray is miniscule, unlike the amount of toxins absorbed by the farmer by inhaling diesel fumes from his own tractor. In 2004 Professor Acquavela  and collaborators made an extended study of farmers in S. Carolina and Minnesota who used no goggles or gloves in spraying glyphosate. He  found a maximum of 223 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate in urine, and a mean value of  3 ppb, i.e., well below the US threshold of 700 ppb, showing that the ingestion of glyphosate  is negligible while the ingestion  of the adjuvents is even smaller.

The nonscientific public has misunderstood the IARC classification and concluded that glyphosate is a dangerous carcinogenic toxin. The toxins produced by Ven. Ratana’s duty free cars sold to the public at various times produce more harm to the environment than all the glyphosate used in the ex-minister MYA’s 30 acre tea estate in ten years.

MYA correctly argued (Derana TV, 23 Aug, 2017) that while two tablets of paracetamol can cure a headache, it becomes a toxin if you take more; he correctly stated that the problem with agrochemicals  is identical –  i.e., overuse.  For  Ven. Ratana,  glyphosate is “worse than the LTTE”, and beyond comparison with mere overuse. Claiming that any glyphosate applied in the hills comes down along the rivers to poison the whole country, Ven. R  wants no glyphosate applied there. If any glyphosate is present in river water, then it would have  killed all the algae in our water bodies, and this is manifestly not so.  All chemical tests have shown that there is no glyphosate or its breakdown products in  the river  runoff as they rapidly decompose and react with the soil (in the tropics), playing a beneficial role by fixing heavy metals naturally present in the soil. Glyphosate itself breaks down and  ultimately contributes to the phosphate needed in the soil.

Every farmer knows of the egrets (“Kokku”) that follow his plough when he tills his land. If our soils are full of toxins and dead  with no earthworms and soil organisms, then why do the egrets and other birds flock behind the plough? Why don’t the egrets drop dead? The soil is free of toxins and contain enough organisms to attract the birds. The biggest threats to our environment are (a) loss of habitat due to human encroachment, and (b) toxins and particulate matter  from motor vehicles, farm equipment, and from industry. (c) another source of toxins is the bio-accumulation  of trace elements by plants and in animal dung and their reuse in composting when a concentrated dose of metal toxins are returned to the earth. The so-called “contaminated mineral fertilizers” do not deliver significant amounts of metal toxins into the soil (for details, see Sec. 7  of  the article ). In fact, it can be shown that even if “heavily contaminated” fertilizer (e.g., phosphate fertilizer containing 50 mg of Cd  per kg of fertilizer, i.e., some 10 times larger than typically  maximum stipulated values) adds negligible amounts of Cd toxin to the soil.  For example, if  we assume that 25 kg of phosphate fertilizer/hectare are applied into a depth of 15 cm in paddy cultivation, it will add only 1.25 μg of Cd and As per kilo of soil per application, while typical threshold values are 5 mg of

As and 1 to 3 mg of Cd per kg of soil. Hence, even if all the Cd and As remain in the soil, with no wash-off, it will take 2.4 millenia to have a discernible effect on the Cd level in soil, 4 millenia to have an effect on the As levels in the soil. In reality much of the Cd or As gets washed of by monsoons. So the existing Cd levels are mostly of geological origin.

A  preposterous claim  made by Nalaka Karunaratne  stated that no one  dares to drink water from a paddy field “Vakkadaya” (water port) any more. WHO Research and other independent  studies  show that the water in the vakkada, irrigation canals and tanks are perfectly safe to drink. The water in some specific household wells in the Rajarata contain geogenic fluoride (F)  and magnesium (Mg). Conclusive evidence now point to  the consumption of stagnant well water containing F and Mg as the cause of chronic kidney disease, with no links to glyphosate or heavy metals  (see, e.g., research article in the renowned journal Nature-scientific reports:  DOI 10.1038/srep42516, 2017,  and  https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.07906  in  2017).

Although glyphosate is less dangerous to soil organisms compared to  soap,  and even beneficial to the soil,  the claim that glyphosate is a dangerous toxin is the unwavering message  on the internet. Websites with catchy names like “Natural agriculture”, “nature’s pulse”,  “back-to earth”, “truthout.com”, “traditional kitchen”, “nature’s garden”, “green wholesome” etc., flourish  in the over-fed West and read  in  upper class Colombo looking for ever-elitist, “uncontaminated” organic foods. The  Hollywood celebrities with much money and little education set the trend. If you Google  the words “glyphosate” and  “human toxicity”, you come up with a  smorgasbord of fake news and cooked up “facts” well  anchored in pseudoscience. However, it  requires expert knowledge to ferret out the errors, especially because biased experiments designed to prove  that  glyphosate is toxic have been performed and published in fake journals which are now known as “predatory journals” 

Close to a hundred Nobel Laureates issued a press statement (Washington Post, 4 July 2016) deploring faked science, and admonishing  movements like “GreenPeace” to desist from creating and publicizing fake “facts”. These predatory journals  look like proper scholarly journals, but they are not run by learned societies or reputed publishers. They publish anything once the fee is paid. Dr. Jayasumana of the Rajarata University, a Ms. Senanayake without scientific credentials but said to have psychic powers linking her to God Natha, and a US-based doctor used a predatory journal launched by a Chinese businessman to publish a “hypothesis” claiming that kidney disease is caused by the joint action of arsenic, glyphosate and calcium (from hard water)  forming a complex, all said to be found in the Rajarata. No evidence was presented, as there is none anyway. No arsenic or glyphosate even as significant traces or exceeding controls  has been detected in the Rajarata although today even one atom  in a trillion other atoms can be detected.  Biopsies on kidney patients have failed to detect any significant traces of glyphosate or its breakdown products  in their blood, urine or body samples. And yet it was hailed by “Green” websites world over, and  glyphosate has been declared the cause of kidney disease and  banned from Sri Lanka, only to be replaced by black-market glyphosate. A country flooded in illegal hooch and narcotics has one more lucrative product  for the underworld.

The internet can be used to “prove” that France, Netherlands and even Russia have banned glyphosate. The reality is different. Only Sri Lanka and El Salvadore have actually gazetted a ban.  Russia in its  Soviet era ruined its agriculture and is now catching up making its own glyphosate and GMO products. In Sri Lanka the local Lysenkos and Rasputins, blinded by their own ideology and rhetoric  are  taking  Sri Lanka  to a dark era of poverty, malnutrition and traditional technology. The latter contains a large dose of superstition and some  gems of wisdom; the wisdom is now well encoded into scientific agriculture. As a scientist who worked hard to establish food science and environmentally sustainable technologies in Sri Lanka in my days (1974-1975) as a Vice Chancellor and Professor of the Sri Jayawardenepura University, I can join with Dr. Panabokke to say that today’s Sri Lankan agriculture and food science are in the hands of “Kattadiyas” (Shamans).

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    If Sri lankan scientists gather data and information o that it is well known that Artificial fertilizer and pesticides (including Glyphosate) can cause accumulation of heavy metals, Nitrates, Nitries, Sulphates etc., in the ground water and when those materials seepage to the drinking water wells, that causes kidney problems dumb children or mentally retarded children and not many other unknown diseases such as skin rashes. presence of thes eimpurities is caused mostly by the synthetic pathy way that they select. I think those who talk supporting the Glyphosate importing may be talking with research carried out with purest form of Glyphosate. What Srilanka gets should be synthesized by cheaper synthetic routes. Eventhe acculumation of metal and salt ion oimpurities won’t goway for decades and keep people sick for years to come as what was acculumated is there.

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      it is well known that Artificial fertilizer and pesticides (including Glyphosate) can cause accumulation of heavy metals, Nitrates, Nitries, Sulphates etc., ……….I think those who talk supporting the Glyphosate importing may be talking with research carried out with purest form of Glyphosate….

      This is the sort of thing that the frightened, uninformed public are led to believe in by the so-called “Ecolos”; They are the sort of people who oppose cell phones (mobiles) and Wi-Fi, internet etc., saying that the “radiation” gives you cancer. The same people opposed the steam engine because they said that going at 30 MPH will give you heart attacks and high blood pressure, and in England they had a man with a red flag walking in front of the train. Finally it was abolished in the latter part of the 19th century..
      Most of this today is driven by NGOs that get money from foreign nuts organizations linked to Christian Evangelists in the bible belt of the USA.
      .
      There was a previous article by Dr. Dharmawardana or Dr Waidyanatha pointing out that Singapore, Malasiya, and newZealand use many times more fertilizers and glyphosate than Sri lanka. Quatar in the middle east uses some 1000 times the amount per hectare used by Sri lanka, El Salvadore and such poor countries that actually have diseases. NewZealand or Malaysia do not have chronic kidney disease or any of the problems that Jim Softy has. he probably has a lot of itches because he must be inhaling the noxicious fumes frm Diesel lorries, belching buses and cars that clog the streets in Sri lanka, with garbage piles at every corner exuding rotten infected water into the ground water.
      Even though petrol and diesel exhaust have been classified as Class I carcinogen and allergen and cause of other diseases, no one wants to ban the cars, but instead the so-called Venerable ( Rathana) imports cars every few years duty free and sells them at 40 milluion rupees on the blac market and illegally.

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        Edward: what you are talking does not make any sense. You have written all unrelated things. I think poor countries import from cheap sources so the material is of poor quality and they don’t accept certificates of analysis and the content of heavy metals and toxins when accept the imported dor fertilizer lots.

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        I know what I am talking about as I worked in the agriculture Dept, SL, till 1996.
        The extension services were abolished by JRJ in 1978 in the name of the free market and he handed over the selling of fertilizer to Mudalalis and Politicos.
        This encouraged the OVERUSE of fertilizers.

        But Jim Softy is WRONG when he says SL uses poor quality or polluted fertilizer. We allow only fertilizer with a mean impurity value of, e.g., 3 mg of Cadmium per kilo of fertilizer, while New Zealand uses Nauri Phosphate which may contain even 100 mg of Cd per kilo, i.e., 30 times more polluting. But even that is OK when spread over a hectare as the amount going into a kilo of soil is miniscule (micorgrams).

        Although the average value allowed is 3 mg Cd/kg, sometimes even fertilizer with 30 mg Cd/ kg have been detected in Sri lanka as the fertilizer is not a homogeneous powder bu can be lumpy, but this is still three times less than what the NewZealanders use.
        They have NO kidney disease or any other chronic disease
        What Prof. Dharmawardana says is GOOD SENSE accepted by most scientists, but the public perception is the opposite, and that is why politicians embrace the populist view. At least Dharmawardana has the courage to state the truth without worrying about being unpopular.

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          but this is still three times less than what the NewZealanders use.
          New Zealand has high rainfall and rural communities use rain water collected from roofs for drinking purposes.

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            barrkum:
            Would you please tell us what New Zealand’s rainfall is and what Sri Lanka’s is, using figures from places like Mannar, Hambanthota, Hatton, Ratnapura etc.
            I trust that since you think it is such a good idea, you have begun harvesting rain water off YOUR roof for human consumption.

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        Jimsofty:
        You obviously have not hear that it is “Better to keep one’s mouth shut and let people think you are stupid than to open it and confirm the fact.”

        Not even that xenophobe Rathana has (up to now) claimed that Glyphosate is either an “artificial fertiliser” or “a pesticide.” But you, as one of his acolytes has made this blatantly false claim because you are not able to refute the statements made by Dr. Dharmawardene which are not merely cogent arguments but based on proven fact.

        Isn’t it about time that people like you and your monumentally stupid and self-seeking gurus such as Rathana are put out to pasture? We could make sure that the grass you eat is only fertilised with fresh animal droppings if that’s what it will take.

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    Prof Chandra Dharmawardane, as I know, is a Physicist and not an agronomist, food Scientist or chemist who knows about agricultural produce or foods. I think your way of argument is completely wrong. Evenin Canada where you are living. PEsticide usage is highly controlled and what they use is mostly Integrated pestmanament. PEsticides are the last resort. With respect to Glyphosate, Agriculture is completely different. It is well known saying is that Saskatchuwan farmers have to drive 100 miles to talk to their nearest neighbour. On the other hand, In Sri lanka, peasant farmers have their well near the pady filed or inside their farm. It is easy to contaminate the well with heavy metals, and other toxins. there are papers which say, glyphosate contains some toxins in minute amounts. Then should vay depending on the synthetic route, there for the source of the material. I think, a Physicist writing chemistry or Food Science is very wrong.

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      Jim Softy is wrong.
      When I was a student Prof Dharmawardana was the professor of Chemistry at Sri Jayawardenapura University and later Vice Chancellor. he began the Food technology diploma and extablished food science for the first time in Sri Lanka;. he also set up the environmental chemistry course units, polymer chemistry courses etc. Later, at the University of Sorboone/Paris-and Orsay France he moved to Physics, but he continues to work on food science, environmental chemistry and health. Just recently he published two papers on Kidney disease and he is a recognized world expert. None of the people in the “Aluth Parilmentuwa” panel has published ANY RESEARCH on kidney disease or even environmental science.
      As for Canadian attitue to Glyphosate, you can buy it anywhere in “Candian Tire” stores or Home Depot. Also, Canadian scientists have come on TV to tell the public to not to be fooled by propaganda from ignorant “Green” advocates who are extremists.
      If there is NO Glyphosate found in the people sick with Kidney disease, it cannot be the cause of the illness. Peradeniya scientists have shown that Kidney disease is caused by water containing fluoride and other minerals like mgnesium and perhaps other salts.
      Listen to the following TV Ontario program where the very scientist5 who was in the WHO committee classifying Glyphosate as a class-II carcinogen similar to Beef saying there THERE IS NO HEALTH RISK what so ever .
      http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/the-last-roundup-debate

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        I thin bodhi dhanapala is upset because, I mentioned the name Nalin De Silva. Read the following article to find how duplicit are the world organizations about glyphosate particularly with respect to Monsanto.: Becuase, it money and ppwer working there.” Read the following article: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/19/why-the-un-hasnt-given-glyphosate-a-clean-bill-of-health/: https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/24/the-case-of-glyphosate-product-promoters-masquerading-as-regulators/———— I did not know Chandra dharmawardane was a Food Scientist. for some Reason I have never seen his name . My thing was he is a theoretical Physicst. Probably,I am wrong. : The Ludicrous European Parliament Vote on Glyphosate: Probably, because of their reserach methodology, if not because of various reasons, they have found different results. Generqlly, that is comon when big money and powerful lobbying come together. What ever it is glyphosate is Toxic for various reasons. No one has studied the synthetic material, source of the material etc., I suppose. UN has not declared Glyphosate as Toxic, instead has said unlikely. but, the resear data say otherwise.

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        I don’t know about Quebec. Generally rules changes with municiplity. whene I am living, it is highly restircted.

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        Fluoride is toxic in excess concentrations. I cannot beleive Magnesium is toxic because it is an ingredient of chlorophyll and we eat plant products every day. Besides, who in PEradeniya proved clinical research or laboratoery tests with rats, mice etc.? whe Fluoride concentration is high the result if teech discoloration and decaying fast. I can not believe suddnely how Fluoride concentrations went high unless it was added from some source. What Bodhi dhanapala says can not be at all.

    • 4
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      You hit the nail on the head!. ‘Professor’ Dharmawardena may have degrees in physics but like most physicists and mathematicians, he has showed by his arguments that he does not know the ABC of biological systems. His previous articles advocating the consumption of Cadmium containing rice, with a sprinkle of Zinc and Selenium showed his ridiculously low level of knowledge on toxicology! Such stupid suggestions based on ignorance about the toxicity of chemicals to human cells and organs put peoples lives at risk, benefiting His sponsors like the corrupt Monsanto empire. Like in Western countries, it should be made illegal for people without relevant qualifications to parade as ‘experts’ in fields where they have no expertise or even general awareness. The government should maintain the ban on glyphosate and capture and punish black market operators of this deadly poison.

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        Dr. Dharmawardana’s details are all written down in the Vidyodaya University Calendar/Handbook that we all got in the 1970s when we were undergards at Vidyodaya. When S. B. Dissanayake (Student Leader) fought with Dr. Dharmawardana and drove him out (against making English=kaduwa compulsory, and due to a problem with the Physics head who opposed any changes) he left Vidyodaya and became a full time Professor in Paris.

        I know that Dr. Dharmawardana has degrees in Chemistry, and also in Physics. He is also a botanist as he maintains the best compilation of plants and herbs of Sri Lanka as a part of environmental studies and place names (History of Sri Lanka).
        So he does many things. He has published research in Quantum Physics, and also on Environmental chemistry and on Kidney disease in peer reviewed journals, co-authoring them with renowned Agronomists and hydro-geologists like Panabokke.

        I also know that Dr. Dharmawardana joined Vidyodaya because he was a friend of Dr. Ven Walpola Rahula as they were both at the Sorbonne. When Dr. Dharmawardana joined Vidyodaya he never left the Sorbonne as he held a joint appointment between Vidyodaya and Paris, and went to Paris for three months every year.

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        Bodhi Dahanapala says, he is a chemist and introduced some Food Technology program there. So, he is not a physicist. but, What Bodhis Dhanapala says about Magnesium and Fluoride simply cannot be true.

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        Jim softy:
        Is your current domicile Angoda?

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        Truth Seeker:
        I can’t think of a more inappropriate pseudonym. Haven’t your checked on Prof. Dharmawardene’s qualifications and what knowledgeable in the field of chemistry have had to say about him and his qualifications.
        Or is this just another one of those arguments advanced by those who start their abusive diatribes with, “Don’t confuse me with facts?”

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          Chemistry is not medicine, you pace-made, dying dumb ass! You are too uneducated to know your ass from your elbow. Missing the lack of print to vomit on (the Sunday Leader)?

  • 3
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    Could you give assurance that research has proved the culprit for CKD is GLyphosate? I say it is known. Please do not play the fool with lives of innocent farmers and the livelihood of tea planters.From the previous regime where Mithree was the Health Minister the farmers of North Central Province are being cheated. Today Health Minister is Rajitha. During y=the previous Reegme Professor Nalin cheated people hiding under the respectful name of our Greatest Devine power Mithree Bodhi Sthwayo.First, the reason was Arsenic, then many other factors.

    Please remember the farmer giver rice to the whole country is helpless today where the son of Polonnaruwa Goviya became king of the country but do not want to hear any one’s grievances.

    From 2014 I read many articles containing contradictory information.Today only concern of politicians is power. They only say they would be in power until 2020but never have any responsive words on important issues of people Thy really do not feel. They go on their own way.Today their main concern is to punish Tajapakdhas and the forces who went to the battle front to secure us

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      Sriyani Mangalika: Just google and see, some agricultural areas in the world, has maximum heavy metal levels recommended for fertiliser. If you check, you see some American States got problems because of that. Arsenic may be they used the wrong method, if they used a sensitivr method, they would haved found more. I don’t think Prof. Nalin De silva or those monks made a case out of nothing. It is stupid Minister responsible and he should have gathered all the people and get them to talk and criticize results.————–Monsanto is a very rich multinational. Because, of their power they try to hide real results. there are so many reports which gluyphosate have txins and toxic effects both chronic and acute. Google and see.

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    >when it is used in agriculture. In fact earthworms and other soil organisms
    >thrive better in its presence. (glyphosate)

    Prof. Dharamawardena you are disgrace to the academic community.
    Nature (the top peer reviewed journal says) other wise.

    Herbicide use is increasing worldwide both in agriculture and private gardens. However, our knowledge of potential side-effects on non-target soil organisms, even on such eminent ones as earthworms, is still very scarce. In a greenhouse experiment, we assessed the impact of the most widely used glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup on two earthworm species with different feeding strategies. We demonstrate, that the surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) almost ceased three weeks after herbicide application, while the activity of soil dwelling earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) was not affected. Reproduction of the soil dwellers was reduced by 56% within three months after herbicide application. Herbicide application led to increased soil concentrations of nitrate by 1592% and phosphate by 127%, pointing to potential risks for nutrient leaching into streams, lakes, or groundwater aquifers. These sizeable herbicide-induced impacts on agroecosystems are particularly worrisome because these herbicides have been globally used for decades.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep12886

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      I discussed this very Nature article with Ivan Amarasinghe and others in an email thread.
      Bar Kum has NOT understood the implications of the experiment and jumped to hasty conclusions.
      (a)This experiment uses Glyphosate with tallowamine and applies it in a manner NOT used in agriculture. It is NOT the glyphosate that is active here but Tallowamine. In Canada most provinces use Glyphosate with rapseed oil derivative as the surfactant. But USA and many European countries allow it although England has asked it to be stopped within one year.
      (b)Look at the dosage used.
      There are MANY papers showing that Cd is removed from the soil by Glyphosate and help the earth worms to flourish.

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        Bodhi,

        There are MANY papers showing that Cd is removed from the soil by Glyphosate and help the earth worms to flourish.

        why dont you give a reference that earth worms to flourish with glyphosate.

        There are MANY papers showing that Cd is removed from the soil by Glyphosate .

        Do you understand the implications of your statement, “Cd is removed by Glyphosate”.
        So if removed must go somewhere, into Water ?

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          Reply to BarKum
          The Cd is converted into a highly insoluble chelate with glyphosate. This also reacts with the ferric and ferrous oxides in the soil (from weathering of rock, all soils have iorn oxides) and become fixed and so cannot be used by plants or animals. See the following abstract:

          Abstract
          The acute and subacute toxicities of cadmium (Cd) to earthworm Eisenia fetida in the presence and absence of glyphosate were studied. Although Cd is highly toxic to E. fetida, the presence of glyphosate markedly reduced the acute toxicity of Cd to earthworm; both the mortality rate of the earthworms and the accumulation of Cd decreased with the increase of the glyphosate/Cd molar ratio. The subcellular distribution of Cd in E. fetida tissues showed that internal Cd was dominant in the intact cells fraction and the heat-stable proteins fraction. The presence of glyphosate reduced the concentration of Cd in all fractions, especially the intact cells. During a longer period of exposure, the weight loss of earthworm and the total Cd absorption was alleviated by glyphosate. Thus, the herbicide glyphosate can reduce the toxicity and bioavailability of Cd in the soil ecosystems at both short- and long-term exposures.

          Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;33:2351–2357. © 2014 SETAC

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            We demonstrate, that the surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) almost ceased three weeks after herbicide application, while the activity of soil dwelling earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) was not affected.

            I have no idea if the earthworm Eisenia fetida is soil dwelling or vertically burrowing.

            Bodhi you know about apples and oranges ?

            What about the Cd is removed from the soil by Glyphosate you mentioned

      • 0
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        OK Bodhi.

        You say It is NOT the glyphosate that is active here but Tallowamin

        So where in the article is do they say Tallowamin is used.

        On the contrary what they say is

        In total for all applications, 176.12 ml m−2 of herbicide was applied which is 53% lower than the recommended plant-based application rate of 1000 plants l−1 for ‘Roundup® Speed’ and 62% lower than the recommended dose of 800 plants l−1 for ‘Roundup® Alphée’ (Monsanto Co., St. Louis/Missouri, USA). T

        • 0
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          To Barkum

          The researchers say they used Roundup. (‘Roundup® Speed’ ).
          This can have up to 15% Tallowamine which is very toxic to worms. But you don’t need to use that formulation (we use a different adjuvent based on rapseed oil in many parts of Canada)

          You need to do your home work. You misinterpreted the Jayasumana-Nath Deviyo article published in an MDPi predatory journal and claimed tha tProf. D is a liar, and so on on the earth-worm issue as well you begin by claiming that some one is a liar.
          Why should some of you resort to personal insults with such a rude mouth in discussing a scientific question that seems to be a new topic for you? This is like >

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    Chandre Dharmawardana, you are a liar of the first order.

    You say:
    >These predatory journals look like proper scholarly journals, but they are
    > not run by learned societies or reputed publishers. They publish anything
    >once the fee is paid. Dr. Jayasumana of the Rajarata University, a
    >Ms. Senanayake without scientific credentials but said to have psychic
    >powers linking her to God Natha, and a US-based doctor used a
    >predatory journal launched by a Chinese businessman to publish a “hypothesis”

    So when did journals published thru the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health (NIH) become predatory journals.

    Jayasumana C, Gunatilake S, Senanayake P. Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014;11(2):2125-2147. doi:10.3390/ijerph110202125.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945589/

    • 0
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      Bar Kum has again erred.
      I hope Dr. Dharmawardana joins this conversation and gives more details as I he has published some stuff about this predatory journal somewhere.

      If BarKum clicks his own link he will see where the paper is published:
      Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb; 11(2): 2125–2147.
      Published online 2014 Feb 20. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110202125

      This is a journal launched by a Chinese businessman and it had been blacklisted
      because it published anything if the 1500 swiss francs were paid, and because it listed eminent people as Editors without their permission .

      Most MDPI journals have been blacklisted but more recently
      they have begun to cleaned up the act because of the heat on them..

      The standard reference to the journal used by Jayasumana is
      Jayasumana C, Gunatilake S, Senanayake P (2014)
      Glyphosate, hard water and nephrotoxic metals: Are
      they the culprits behind the epidemic of chronic kid-
      ney disease of unknown etiology in sri lanka? Int J
      Environ Res Public Health 11:2125–2147

      So ncbi.nlm.nih.gov is merely reproducing it by direct link and NOT a journal but a repository of all work.

      • 0
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        I have further info about the MDPI company which publishes
        Int J Environ Res Public Health
        used by Jayasumana and friends. IT IS a preadatory journal

        Inclusion in Beall’s list
        MDPI was included on Jeffrey Beall’s list of predatory open access publishing companies in February 2014, and was in the list when Jayasuman submitted the paper to MDPI.

        Among the reasons Beall gave for listing MDPI as a questionable publishers was that the company listed Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Mario Capecchi in one of the editorial board without his knowledge. MDPI has compiled and posted emails claiming to document the acceptance by the following Nobelists as members of the board in MDPI journals:: Robert F. Curl, Richard R. Ernst, Jerome Karle, Harold Kroto, Yuan-Tseh Lee, Rudolph A. Marcus, Eric S. Maskin, Steven Weinberg, Kurt Wüthrich and George Smoot.

        Further critique was raised by Martin Haspelmath who argues that the publication model employed by MDPI “creates a strong incentive to create journals and book imprints that function like ‘vanity presses,’ allowing authors to publish their low-quality work without significant risk of rejection.”[48] In response to Haspelmath, MDPI published a commentary in the same journal disputing a number of points.

        In an article in Biochemia Medica, Beall wrote that he had been pressured to remove his list due to harassment from predatory publishers, and mentioned MDPI specifically as a publisher that had “tried to be as annoying as possible to the university so that the officials would get so tired of the emails that they would silence me just to make them stop.” MDPI was removed from the list in October 2015 following a successful appeal or perhaps due to pressure.

        BarKum can do his own Google seaarch on MDPIfamily of journals instead of calling a respected scholar a Liar because of BarKum’s failed to do a simple search.

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        Bodhi,

        You realize that most Science Journals are published by businesses.
        For instance the premier Nature (journal) is published by the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springer_Nature

        For instance the article M. W. C. Dharma‐wardana (..Mar 2013) Exchange, correlation, …International Journal of Quantum Chemistry

        .International Journal of Quantum Chemistry is published by
        John Wiley & Sons
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Journal_of_Quantum_Chemistry

        Bodhi you say
        So ncbi.nlm.nih.gov is merely reproducing it by direct link and NOT a journal but a repository of all work.

        ncbi.nlm.nih.gov is a citation index, and including a repository. It has many journals, all of good repute. Not a single Sri Lankan/Ceylon journal is is indexed in the repository

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        Chinese businessman and it had been blacklisted because it published anything if the 1500 swiss francs were paid,

        Bodhi, there are quite a few reputed journals where you have to pay publications costs up front. In the US, you budget publication costs into a grant proposals.

        There are two basic models cost/profit models for Science journals
        a) Publications cost borne by author, royalties paid to author
        b) Publication cost borne by publisher, no payments to author

        Bodhi you say
        and because it listed eminent people as Editors without their permission
        So please give a few names and references.

        Bodhi you say
        Most MDPI journals have been blacklisted
        Yeah, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is blacklisted but still indexed at the NIH and other eminent citation indexes.

        Bodhi you say
        Jeffrey Beall’s list of predatory open access publishing
        aware of complaints that Beall’s list wasn’t objective and that his criteria for including journals weren’t transparent
        https://www.nature.com/news/pay-to-view-blacklist-of-predatory-journals-set-to-launch-1.22090

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          to SBarKum
          So you see, the journal used by Jayasumana was one which had just been launched a few years ago and already mired in controversy, whether you like it or not.

          The Journals you referred to from John Wiley and sons, i.e., Int. J of Quatum Chemistry, or the famous Nature published by MacMillan, or the renowned journal Environmental Geochemistry and Health published by Springer etc., are all journals which have existed for decades, backed by learned societies even though published by private companies, and they are OT mired in any controversy or scandal. That is where Dharmawardana has published. The fluoride and hardness paper by Wasana is also published in a similar journal, i.e., Nature.
          They may or may not put a page charge, but they are well-known for the stringent level of PEER-REVIEW, while the MDPI journals run by the China man and founded recently are PURELY TO COLLECT money, and although now they are trying to clean up their rotten name, they certainly published ANYTHING sent to them in until about 2015 as long you paid 1500 Swiss francs up front.
          That is why it was labeled a predatory journal.
          You made an utterly silly mistake and imagined that the Jayasumana paper was published by saying

          So when did journals published thru the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health (NIH) become predatory journals.?

          Please apologize instead of behaving like the politicians of Sri lanka making accusations against others and being foul mouthed.
          Now you are twisting and turning and going to irrelevant matters; you are saying that none of the Sri lankan journals is featured in the NIH. That is again ignorance on your part. The Sri lanka NSF journal and several medical journals are featured there.

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    This is about direct effects of Glyphosate.:Despite this residents were rather perplexed to hear that although MEPs voted last month not to approve glyphosate for various non-agricultural and non-professional uses, as well as for no approval in or close to public parks, playgrounds and public gardens, re-approval was seemingly supported by MEPs for the agricultural use of glyphosate on crops in the locality of residents’ own homes and gardens. So called IPM (Integrated Pest Management) referred to in one of the amendments is a red herring and will change nothing significant as it is system that still uses pesticides to some degree whichever definition one goes by. See further https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/18/the-ludicrous-european-parliament-vote-on-glyphosate/———————15. Source: IARC statement dated 20th March 2015.: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2315057/Is-worlds-popular-weed-killer-causing-Parkinsons-New-study-shows-Roundup-herbicide-linked-cancer-infertility.html

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    Mangalika, you say that Could you give assurance that research has proved the culprit for CKD is GLyphosate? I say it is known.

    Yes, research has proved that kidney disease has NOTHING to do with glyphosate or Fertilizers.
    People who get kidney disease are found in villages where they drink well water stagnating through out the dry months. The people who drink agricultural canal water, from the tanks, from the Mahaweli etc., don’t get kidney disease. The villages Girandukotte (a relation of mine lives not far from there) has two parts. One part has lots of kidney disease, and other part has no disease. They eat the same food, use the same fertilizers, herbicides. But only the people who drink water from their wells get sick. Now they have stopped because scientists from Peradeniya have explained it to them. There are many ither pairs of such villages, and bad well water is the problem, and NOT agricultural water with fertilizers etc..
    But the NGO Kakkas are trying to make money by frightening people saying every thing is poisoned by glyphosate, and SELLING WATER, made using Reverse Osmosis machines imported from USA. So these people are trying to frighten locals by saying that there is glyphosate in the water. Kandy Doctors and scientists, and the WHO scientists have shown that there is NO GLYPHOSATE in the water.. Prof. Dharmawardana is also saying that, and pointing out that if there is glyphosate in the water, then there will not be algae. But there IS algae and NO glyphosate It is all a sham and “Venerable” Ratana is lying and using it for politics, trying to be an “Eco- hero”..

    • 3
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      Another member of the Monsanto troops pushing Roundup in ignorant developing countries comes to the aid of Chandre! This Bodhi, together with Parakrama Waidyanatha are the other two members whose lives appear to be consumed by the glyphosate ban. Out of the three, none has a medical qualification, but all three have been posing as some sort of ‘experts’ on the cytotoxicity of this poison. These shameless individuals should know that no amount of chest beating is going to bring back their favourite poison because our farmers continue to die, and the entire globe has woken up to the dirty tricks of their pay master Monsanto. Hallelujah!

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        None of the members of the Aluth Parlimenthuwa panel has a medical degree. May be Ven. Ratana is a “Goda Veda” ?
        The Kidney Specialists of the Kandy Hospital and the Peradeniya University Dons have formed CERTKID to investigate Kidney disease, and they DONT think glyphosate has ANYTHING to do wtih Kidney disease. Most of them consider that the ill ness comes from drinking bad STAGNANT well water that has leached out stuff (salts like fluoride and Magnesium) from the ground.
        Glyphosate is NOT EVEN FOUND in the bodies, urine or blood of the Kidney patients.

        • 0
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          Glyphosate, labeled a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC in 2015.

          Glyphosate was found in 93 percent of the 131 urine samples tested at an average level of 3.096 parts per billion (PPB). Children had the highest levels with an average of 3.586 PPB.
          The regions with the highest levels were the West and the Midwest (of the US) with an average of 3.053 PPB and 3.050 PPB respectively.

          (n.b. US West and mid west has the most agriculture and water for drinking from groundwater).

          Glyphosate (Roundup) was initially patented as a pipe descaler — it binds with minerals, making them easier to remove. It binds with minerals in GMO crops (which are genetically modified to withstand it’s lethal effects) as well as in humans, blocking absorption/utilization.

          http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/23/monsanto-roundup-glyphosate-cancer/

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      Boshi Dhanapala: what you write look like BS. How do you know through seepage that heavy metals, nitrates, nitrites, sulphates used from the other side are not leached to the water wells of this side and because of that, those who eat the product is not affected but theose who drink the waster are affected ?

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      bodhi you say
      People who get kidney disease are found in villages where they drink well water stagnating through out the dry months. The people who drink agricultural canal water, from the tanks, from the Mahaweli etc., don’t get kidney disease.

      Absolutely correct.
      Ever heard of DILUTION and FLOW.

      You can put a couple of kilos of arsenic into flowing water and in few hours it will be diluted and relatively safe. They used to to do this for fishing in rivers a few years back in Sri Lanka. The fish get killed immediately, but in a few hours the water gets diluted and relatively safe.

      To quote Prof. Dharmawardana:

      New Zealand is one of the biggest users of synthetic fertilizer, applying 1700 kg/hectare in 2012. Other comparative figures (per hectare, World Bank data) are, Malaysia,1600, Singapore 3400, Holland 300, India 165, Sri Lanka 198, Nicaragua 50. Both Nicaragua and Sri Lanka have chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu). There are similar trends for glyphosate (herbicide) use. While Nicaragua uses very little fertilizer and glyphosate, New Zealand which uses more than 34 times has no CKDu.

      Prof. Dharmawardana ignores
      a) New Zealand has high rainfall and rural communities use rain water collected from roofs for drinking purposes.
      b) Sri Lanka does not have a CKDu problem is the wet zone.
      c) Jaffna which has hard ground water has low incidence of CKDu because agro chemicals were prohibited during the war.

      Bodhi are you Chandre Dharmawardana?

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    There appears to be a serious problem with Chandre. I have seen numerous articles written by Chandre propagating Glyphosate lately. I understand he lives in N.America…..Just wondering whether he is stationed in Monsanto Head quarters or not? Has he ever lived in Padaviya or Madawachchiya area to do a research with thousands of CKD affected farmers?
    Chandre…Please stop your fairy-tales….and stop insulting people like Rev Ratana thero and Dr. Jayasumena who led praiseworthy action to ban Glyphosate. We don’t need MNC sponsored Scientist to tell us how harmful the weedy-sides and pesticides are. Go talk to ordinary farmers in those areas and they will teach you how harmful it is.
    By the way, with every article you write praising Glyphosate, we know how lavish Monsanto will be towards you.

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    The best cure for charlatans like Ratana Hamuduruwo is to give them a couple of acres each and ask them to survive on “sustainable agriculture”
    The trouble with such characters is that they were born after the “green revolution” of the 60’s. Actually, that is why they were born– the green revolution gave their parents enough healthy food !
    These guys are simply not aware of the uncounted MILLIONS of people who perished in India and China in the 40’s and 50’s before agriculture was improved with hybrids and chemicals.
    Do we want millions to reish in SL too to satisfy the misguided notions of a few people?

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    “The FAO-WHO Joint Committee on Pesticide Residues effectively says that even a few tea spoons of full strength glyphosate consumed daily is quite safe!”

    Wonder if Prof Dharmawardana has guts to consume full strength Glyphosate believing the recommendation of FAO-WHO joint committee. The learned professor being a physical chemist was the professor of Chemistry at Vidyodaya Campus(Sri Jayewardenepura University at present) in early 70s. He was smart , intelligent but a little eccentric at that time. Also wonder why he ended up at Vidyodaya which is not a reputed tertiary institute even today. However, he is a far better and a valuable person than Athuraliye Rathana or Asoka Abeygunawardana who is a puppet of president Sirisena. As such, people should believe in what Professor Dharmawardana does say about Glyphosate.

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    I think if we can it is better to stay away from the Agro chemicals as much as possible.

    What I don’t understand is all the pundits in Sri Lanka still could not determine precisely what causes the disease and how to prevent the kidney failures!

    That tells something about all the universities, professaris, doctors and bla bla bla…in Bla Bla Land!

    We need someone from Japan to find it out like we did find why the mountain of garbage collapsed in Meethotamulla!

    • 1
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      Srinath
      The “Pandits” seem to have determined the cause of kidney disease.
      But the politicians follow public opinion which is formed on the prior belief that Glyphosate caused it. Does the average man know what is glyphosate? NO.
      They go by the propaganda of people like Ven. Ratana who is not a chemist or a doctor or a
      toxicologist but some one running around to get votes and working closely with various NGOs sellin RO (reverse Osmosis) machines.

      The Cause is the use of hard water containing fluoride and they have even done conclusive experiments on Laboratory animals to prove it. Both the IFS in Hantana, and the Vet dept of the Peradeniya University have shown it.
      See the .Nature article by DrWasana.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC5307334/

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        I read the said article by Edward. Now, I understans what all these scholars and acedmics are saying. they have done just one study with Cadmium, flouride and Ca and Mg Carbonate for water hardness. they di dnot study, in that paper other heavy metals. some how they found all water hardness, Fluoride and Cadmium leads to sever Kidney impariment in Mice. that is why all these scholars are talking about effect of Magnesium and are scolding the Rathana theor. All crap. I did not read the whole article. they did not publish any water analysis from wells (again I did not read the whole article). they don’t write any such in the abstract anyway. Mg can not be toxic as we eat plants everyday. IF they analyzed well water with sensitive methods and analysed for all the heavy metals, results would have been different. I have seen results saying nitrates, nitries, sulphate, phospate etc., from fertilizers are toxic to the body. Glyphosate is a phosphonate and bacteria can break down it. Many insecticides, if they use those even now, are phophates. Just one paper, some of these extremists try to discard the whole case, probably from those who import fertilizers and pesticides. Read the literature, I quoted to see how big businesses and politics are involved in these fertilizer use and in the pesticide use.

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        Sorry I entered the web address for the Nature article proving the cause of Kidney disease with a typo. The following is good.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5307334/

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          To Jim Softy,
          What are the other heavy metals you are talking of? They were all studied and
          even Rajarata water itself was directly used in the Thammitiyagoda et al study
          from the Peradeniya Vet dept.

          Why should I spend my time digging up references when you should do a full search.
          You can at least look at Prof. Dharmawardana’s very comprehensive recent study which covers virtually all heavy metals, salts and even light metals (e.g., aluminum) that you can think of. See:

          https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.07906

          It is your turn to give some evidence showing that there is a significant concentration of heavy metals or glyphosate in the water or soil of the rajarata. If these toxins are there, you will not see Kokku (egrets) coming to eat earth worms when the farmers till the fields.

          Also, remember that the WHO-NSF study , and several other studies showed that the concentrations of heavy metals in the Rajarata water are below detectable significant levels. But fluoride and hardness (Mg and Ca ions) are very high in the wells used by people who become sick with Kidney disease.

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            Ca – Hardness is not something new. How do you say MAgeneisum is toxic when eat every day magnesium every as an ingredient of chlorophyll. How do you Egrets can tolerate high heavy metals because of that humans should be able to too. I read Dr. dharmawardane’s article. But, I don’t know how it gives solid proof that what is happening is what he says. He checked only one heavy metal and Fluoride. Where else he saw that Fluoride has affected Kidneys. Why he did not get heavy metal levels for other metals in well water, bllod from those who drinking the well water and other data as I mentioned else where. I can not believe, Dr. dhramawardane is trying prove that his case as the solid proof when it looks very crappy.

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            Edward:
            Why do you persist in seeking to debate with the village idiot, Jimsofty? You might as well try to converse with a brick wall, though that might have significantly more intelligence.

            • 0
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              Jimmy is living proof that drinking glyphosate causes mental retardation in herbivores.

      • 2
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        People in dry zones have been drinking this water for centuries!
        So why suddenly people develop kidney failures?
        So what conditions changed in ground water to be toxic within a short period?
        Or is it Diabetes or hyper tension? What is the demography of the chronic kidney failure?
        Is it infants? Older men?

        Do agri chemicals/fertilisers change the chemicals in ground water?

        I think we a need a comprehensive research on this? Don’t you agree

        This paper is not conclusive enough!

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          To Sri Nath
          Even today the disease is hard to detect, and by the time it is detected (using analysis for cretanin and urine albumin) the disease has progressed to the 4th or 5th stage.

          Do you think they could have detected anything even in 1980 in the Rajarata? No, the lab facilities were not there even in bigger towns.
          Also, even today when people get sick they think it is something else – like Daedimunda Deviyo being angry, or the after-effect of a snakebite or a hornet attack etc. It is only after about 2000 that there came an awareness of the disease, even among doctors.

          Before 1970 there were NO PEOPLE in most of these areas as there was Malaria. The few who lived there drank tank water or agricultural canal water which are fine.
          The later settlers had to build houses away from Tanks and they dug household wells, and it is they who have go the problem.

          This comprehensive study you are talking iof has been done by:

          (i)WHo-NSF and the report published in 2014
          (ii)Wells were studied and analyzed by the International water board and Dr. Manthithileke and dat published in 2016
          (iiI)Levine et al and Sri Jayawardenapura University, report published in a leading Nephrology journal in 2016
          (iv)Tokyo University and Kandy Hospital joint study (Dr. nanayakkara and other) published in Japanese journal (in English) in 2014.

          All these point to the fact that there are no significant levels of heavy metals or glyphosate in the Rajarata.

          In fact, if the disease is due to Fertilizers and glyphosate, it is the people who drink agricultural canal water who should get sick. They DONT get sick.

          • 1
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            In fact, if the disease is due to Fertilizers and glyphosate, it is the people who drink agricultural canal water who should get sick. They DONT get sick.

            Looks like Guruge from SJP-university medical faculty is not aware of the concepts of DILUTION and FLOW.

            I am impressed.

            • 0
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              So, now sbarkum admits that dilution and flow will mitigate the effect of fertilizers and herbicides.

              In fact, it is not just dilution and flow, but also fixation of heavy metals and other stuff by soil humus and ferric/ferrous oxides etc in the soil that remove the stuff (by making them insoluble and so no longer bio-available).
              Zn and Se also mitigate tion. heir action.

              See the article by Diyabalanage et al: (This is open access)

              Diyabalanage S, Abekoon S, Watanabe I, et al (2016a)
              Has irrigated water from mahaweli river contributed
              to the kidney disease of uncertain etiology in the dry
              zone of sri lanka?
              Environ Geochem Health 38:439–454, DOI 10.1007/s10653-015-9749-1

              All the chemical analyses have shown the ABSENCE of heavy metals, herbicdes, insectcides, DDT remnants etc in the Rajarata water and soil as not even 10 parts per billion (typical maximum allowed limit by WHO) of toxins have been found; so it is very safe.

              In contrast, the well water has very high fluoride and hardness. It is the JOINT action of both these (synergistic action) that cause the illness. In places like Jaffna the water is hard (mostly calcium hardness) and there is no fluoride.
              So no CKDu. Every where there is CKDu, there is fluoride and Mg in the well water drunk by the vulnerable population. These have a geological origin.
              People were settled in the Mahaweli C scheme without any infrastructure and they ended up digging their own wells with no one checking the water.
              After decades of drinking it, now they have started rain water harvesting etc.

          • 0
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            “Before 1970 there were NO PEOPLE in most of these areas as there was Malaria. The few who lived there drank tank water or agricultural canal water which are fine.
            The later settlers had to build houses away from Tanks and they dug household wells, and it is they who have go the problem.”
            Sorry to intrude into this learned discussion ( I am not a chemist or biochemist) but the above passage is very significant.
            It is true that these areas had very few people up to the 70’s. I believe Malaria was under control by the 50’s. Health care was unsophisticated.
            So, is it not possible that CKD (and Malaria) existed all along and might have been the reason for the centuries of depopulation otherwise blamed on Chola invasions ?

            • 0
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              There was malaria eradication going on even in the 1970s and there was Malaria well into the 1960s in the NCP and in places like Moneragala. Luckily
              Sri lanka used DDT and got rid of Malaria. But by 1974 DDT was banned by Nixon the crooked US President to get votes from the green movement arising from Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring”. The WHO holds that DDT should be baned only for agriculturaal use, but that it should be allowed for domestic control of mosquitoes, be they malaria or Dengue. We can easily control the Dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka using DDT but our Eco-Heros and Toxin-Free idiots will now allow it. India and Malaysia use DDT.

              The population in ancient times rarely went above a million. There are more people today in central Colombo today than there were in the whole country in 1700 (using demographic estimates for 1700) and in 1900 we had 3.9 million in the whole country. Today we have 22 million and we have to feed them. You cannot do it by going back to compost, geri-katu, Neem and Maduruthala agriculture of Ven. Ratana.

              In ancient times life expectancy was low except for the upper classes and religious people who were well fed. Most families had many many children but most died in childhood due to various diseases. Not only malaria, but dengue, chigela, hook worm, elephantisis (Barava), whooping cough, dysentry, small pox, etc etc were very common and kept the population in check. Only a few survi ed child hood diseases and they were hardy people who lived to a long age and old age diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure were rare. When some one died of a stroke or heart attack it was considered as “Maha Sona Gaehavva”.
              So, it is quite possible that people had Kidney disease but there were no diagnostic tools until the second half of the 20th century. Even today many people are not diagnosed.

            • 0
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              There was Malaria even till late sixties. Indeed, Kidney disease would have existed, but in ancient times life expectancy was low, and most people died by the age of 35. Only the rich and the prevailed (e.g., monks, nobility) lived long.
              Also, most families had a lot of children but most died due to childhood diseases and the population rarely grew to more than a million in the whole country.
              Those who survived childhood diseases very very hardy individuals and some of them lived long and so we have the myth that people in the old days lived very long (Bible myth of Methuselah, or that “Shrishis” lived long).

              But in ancient times most people were dead by 30 0r 35 years due to a variety of causes aggrevated by malnutrition, famine, many types of epidemics, small pox, dengu, chigella, hook worm, cholera, plague

  • 0
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    .Dr. Dharmawardana has forgotten to mention the BIG SCAM of the SEMA and Presidential secretariate in sponsoring a so called “organic” fertilizer which does not work. The farmers have been advised and coerced by the Rathana Thera’s strong men to buy a thing called BIOFILM-Biofertilizer and use it instead of mineral fertilizer.

    The usual mineral fertilizer (TSP) provides the necessary nitrogen to a plant. If you dont give nitrogen, the plant does not grow. In the old days they burnt the forest (chena cultivation) and the ash provided the nitrogen etc. That is traditional agriculture.
    The BIOFIL-biofertilizer is said to give nitrogen but DOES NOT.
    But big money has been pumped into this private venture with the sponsorship of SEMA and the government. Why sell stuff without adequate field tests?
    They claimed to have ten years testing but it turns out to be a big LIE.
    The few field tests that were done turn out to be failures.

    Read the expose of this by Dr. Widyanatha in the Island
    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=161313

    “Venerable” Rathana says that they have grown paddy without glyphosate. Of course, if you keep more water for a longer time, there is less weeds and that is how the ancients grew paddy. But today we NEED TO CONSERVE WATER.

    Its is all a sham conducted by the government, SEMA and the BORUPAALNAYA which cannot even clean up the Garbage which accumulates to high heven and explodes from Methan ignition, and yet they talk of “TOXIN_FREE” nation!

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      Goyyia: You all know what you talk. ORganic Fertilizer is very slow in showing the response. IT is not like Inorganic fertilizer. It taked time to show the effects of organic fertilizer. So, do not write dumb comments. Because, of inorganic fertilizer, all the small animals such as earthworms that helped the soil are gone. Inorganic fertilizer make ions and metal acccumulate in the ground water which will eventually make the person who drinks it sick. IF Srilanka doe snot have good Researchers and have only the goda veddus, read the internet, some municipal, state legislations about maximum and minimum levels of heavy metals in ground water and the restrictions on pesticide applications are publishe din the internet.

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    All those here who try to prove that glyphosate and heavy metals in fertilizeand their toxicity on humans r have presented comments and not much data and some shoddy research data. It looks they all are GODA WEDDUs. IF you take that data to a conference you guys will be in big trouble. there are so many programs in the west to control the heavy metals in agricultural areas, and minimum and maximum levels are specified. PEsticides incluuding Glyphosate use is highly restricted. It is not allowed to spray as you would spray weate on plants. Some comments are really funny. for example, no one found glyphosate inside the plant tissue.

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    The ‘interesting’ debate here shows a pathetic situation. According to the Health Services, 127 farmers have died so far this year from kidney disease, and this on top of nearly 300 in 2016. In the meantime, we have a group of three (Chandre, Widyanatha and Bodhi Dhanapala) non-medical “experts” with some involvement or other in pushing glyphosate (Roundup) swearing black and blue that glyphosate has nothing to do with dreadful disease. Even ignoring the Rajarata university’s convincing evidence that Roundup is the cause of this scourge, we the laymen and women can intuitively suspect that Roundup is the cause of the kidney disease. But the ‘experts’ writing under different pseudonyms keep backing each others words supporting the ‘science myth’ that kidney disease is caused by different factors on different days, other than Roundup. Can these ‘experts’ come out and say openly whether they have never received any inducements from the criminal producer of this poison, Monsanto? Till then they should think of their own and their children and stop sacrificing poor farmers in Sri Lanka. They are shameless idiots, professors or not.

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      Jeramy Austin had also written to the Island, and he pushed his organic fertilizers as he runs a horticultural business in Toronto.

      That Kidney disease is NOT caused by glyphosate is NOT the view of two or three people but the view of the majority of scientists (e.g., in CERTKID) and by Peradeniya Kidney specialists, IFS scientists, and scientists in the Veterinary and Chemistry departments, biochemistry departments in Peradeniya, and they have published in world renounced journals like Nature.
      <b
      Why is no glyphosate found in the biopsies of sick people?
      Why is no glyphosate found in the water or soil in the sickness areas?
      Why is no glyphosate found in the food of these people?
      Why is it that only the people who drink water from certain wells get the illness?
      Why is it that the workers in the The Estates, the biggest users of glyphosate and
      fertilizers DONT get Kidney disease?
      Where is the evidence that glyphosate causes Kidney disease?

      Instead of dealing with the disease and helping the sick, these NGO kaputas want to sell their RO water, their NEEM fertilizer, their Neem insecticide etc imported from highly polluted India claiming that it is “organic”.

      They want to sell their BOGUS bio-film bio-fertilizer.
      Sri lanka is full of crooks and some of them are Presidential advisers, or even wearing robes.

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        In a logically correct lament aimed at absolving Glyphosate from causing the massive wave of kidney disease in Sri Lanka, Bodhi has provided the opportunity for readers to shift their focus to another agent; this one being cadmium.

        Here’s how it goes:

        Cadmium is found in the biopsies of sick people
        Cadmium is found in the water or soil in the sickness areas
        Cadmium is found in the food of these people
        All of the above have been verified, and science is reproducible, so experiments can be repeated.

        Further,
        -Cadmium is very well known (and documented) nephrotoxin (just google it)
        -Cadmium is found in all TSP (a phosphate-based fertilizer)
        -Cadmium is found in irrigation water deriving from the hill country via the Mahaweli (farmers are known to use TSP liberally in hill country vegetable plots and in rice paddies)

        It doesn’t take much by way of common sense to derive how politically explosive a revelation it would be to attribute cadmium as the direct, albeit inadvertent cause, given the vast governmental subsidies provided for fertilizer, and the huge development project to bring water to the north central province via the Mahaweli.

        As for why is it that the workers in the tea estates don’t generally get this dreaded disease, one must understand why water seeped with excess cadmium-containing fertilizer flows downhill due to simple potential gradient. This is also why people in the Badulla area (a valley) show this same kidney disease.

        And to his last point as to evidence, I think he owes it to the readership to explain what credible evidence there is, to support his contention in a previous post (and that of Dharmawardena’s) that it is fluoride which causes kidney disease?

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        Bodhi, you seem to be an exception to the meaning of your name according to Buddhism, which means “the understanding possessed by a Buddha regarding the true nature of things.” You are an ignorant, half-baked, wannabe scientist in the deep pockets of Monsanto. For your information, I don’t run any horticultural business in Toronto, thanks to Monsanto sickness merchants and murderers. I am part of a class action against these devil worshiping money bags. As to you, you simply don’t seem to have enough decency to answer the question whether you have received inducements from Monsanto to promote the s*it they are murdering Sri Lankan farmers with.

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    You don’t need to smuggle in glyphosate, you CAN import it legally.
    You can bring it in as a cosmetic as the government has relaxed rules. The country is flooded with “skin-whitening creams” and other creams even containing mercury, lead and other toxins with over 1000 times the WHO approved amount.

    the incumbent government, soon after coming to power, replaced the srtict Cosmetics Drugs and Devices Authority with National Medicines Regulatory Authority. The change had resulted in the market being opened for many imports sans any regulation if labled a “cosmetic”. The new set-up would permit anyone to bring in any type of cosmetics and sell they them as they wished. “This loophole in the law has been made use by some businessmen and now the market is full of whitening creams – some of them are banned in many other countries.”

    Just label glyphsate as a cosmetic and bring it in.

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