March 27, 2014   |   Derrick Broze
Derrick Broze | The Anti-Media
A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health claims to have found a link between the herbicide known as Roundup and the fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDu), which largely affects rice farmers in Sri Lanka and other nations. In response Sri Lanka has banned glyphosate and Brazil is considering doing the same.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Special Projects S.M. Chandrasena stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a directive to ban Glyphosate sales in the country. “An investigation carried out by medical specialists and scientists have revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by Glyphosate. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the immediate removal of Glyphosate from the local market soon after he was told of the contents of the report.”
Glypohsate is an ingredient in the Monsanto Corporation’s Roundup herbicide. The researchers believe glyphosate could be helping carry toxic heavy metals present in certain agri-chemicals to the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) was first seen in the north central areas of Sri Lanka in the 1990’s and has taken an estimated 20,000 lives. Before being bought by Monsanto for use as herbicide, glyphosate was a de-scaling agent to clean mineral deposits in hot water systems.
Although the paper did not offer new scientific evidence, the researchers proposed a theory for how CKDu is spread. The researchers believe that glyphosate is contributing to a rise of heavy metals in drinking water. Dr. Channa Jayasumana, lead author of the study said, “Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney.” Glyphosate itself is not the toxic agent, however when combined with metals in the ground water the herbicide becomes extremely toxic to the kidneys.
In recent years there has been a spike in CKD patients in farming areas of El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
The Minister stated that a new national program would be launched encouraging Sri Lankan farmers to use organic fertilizer. The Ministry of Agriculture is hoping to plant 100,000 acres of land throughout the country using organic fertilizer.
Monsanto spokesman Thomas Helscher stated,“There are no epidemiologic studies suggesting that exposures to glyphosate-based products are associated with renal disorders either in Sri Lanka or elsewhere. The paper presents a theory, the theory has not been tested, and there are a significant number of publications supported by data that make the Jayasumana hypothesis quite unlikely to be correct.”
Helscher is right that presently the new research only represents an untested theory but this has not stopped the fear and rejection of Monsanto’s products. Brazil’s Prosecutor General is also seeking a ban on glyphosate, as well as other active herbicide ingredients. The prosecutors website states, “The first measure seeks to compel the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) to reevaluate the toxicity of eight active ingredients suspected of causing damage to human health and the environment. On another front, the agency questions the registration of pesticides containing 2,4-D herbicide, applied to combat broadleaf weeds”
In May 2013 52 countries and 436 cities around the world came together to hold rallies, march and spread awareness on the corrupt practices of the Monsanto Corporation and their deadly products. Despite being ignored by the mainstream media, the Global March Against Monsanto was viewed as a success in raising awareness on the controversial topic of Genetically Modified Organisms and Monsanto’s dark history.
On May 24, 2014 activists and concerned consumers will gather for the third time to talk to their communities about Monsanto, GMO’s and gardening solutions.
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Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com, The Liberty Beat, the Anti-Media, Intellihub, Activist Post, and BenSwann.com