Friday August 23, 2019

Sri Lanka to relax glyphosate weedicide ban: report

Sep 19, 2016 07:37 AM GMT+0530 | 8 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - A ban on glyphosate, a widely used weedicide, imposed on the belief that it may contribute to chronic kidney disease will be relaxed to allow the tea farming sector to use it, a report said.

Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayake had told Sri Lanka's Planters' Association, a groping of senior managers of tea farms, that the ban will be relaxed, The Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The tea sector will be allowed to import glysophate, following discussions with President Maithripala, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and related parties, the report said.

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena banned the import of glysophate, after a theory was put forward that it was responsible for chronic kidney disease in mostly rice growing areas in the country.

However no animal studies were done to prove the theory, which the researchers said was because Sri Lanka was a country where most were followers of Bhuddism.

There have been no reports of tea workers being affected by kidney disease in a large scale in Sri Lanka yet. Factors including heat stress, dehydration in combination with mis-use of agricultural chemicals have been linked to the disease in other countries.

Similar chronic kidney diseases whose origin remains a mystery have cropped up in Andra Pradesh, some Central American countries and Egypt.

A World Health Organization arm that looks at cancer has said in 2015 that glysophate was probably carcinogenic (category 2B substance) to humans, along with malathion which is sprayed in households in Sri Lanka to kill mosquitoes, following an animal study which found links, though other studies have given mixed results.

However glysophate has become widely used. (Colombo/Sept19/2016 - Update II)



  1. Nana September 23, 06:42 AM

    We shouldnt be too hapzard in relaxing the ban. There is lot of pressure from the Multi National Companies as well as many paid agents even to make comments in these forums. Even WHO research reports could be influenced. These Companies can buy anyone or even Kill anyone who are against their business.

    We should salute President for having a backbone to do take decisions unlike MR.Going Organic is the only option.

  2. Bandula September 22, 04:56 AM

    Minister you have a brain. Glyphosate does not come to the final harvest in any crop or it will not stay in soil days. It will disintegrated once it touches soil organic matters. I get your back Minister.

    One stupid scientist's fake and biased research paper should not take into consideration when you take decisions. Simple as this, if you do not use glyphosate to control weeds, do you know how many and how much other, way toxic chemicals you have to use to kill weeds.

    LD 50 value to glyphosate is much higher than table salt that we consume everyday boss.

  3. Jason September 20, 02:32 AM

    I will not be drinking anymore Ceylon Tea in future. Why can't the Lankans go organic? Glyphosate is being restricted the world over. Tea made in Sri Lanka must carry on the packet that glyphosate has been used in its plantations.

  4. edward September 20, 05:01 AM

    At last good sense has prevailed, and the government has listened to the submission made by the leading scientists of sri lanka pointing out that this glyphosate ban was based on pseudo-science.Cheers to the minister.

  5. Dhanapala September 20, 04:39 AM

    At last the government has made a sensible decision. Glyphosate is a hebicide, and if any herbicide used in the Tea areas arrives in the NCP, it should kill all the algae in the rivers and tanks.

    But as you know, most water bodies are fukl of algae, japan jabara etc, showing that there is no glysohate in the NCP water, soil etc.

    This was confirmed by the WHO study in 2013 when they found no glyphosate in the water. But a woman in in kelaniya who claims to be a psychic joined with others to claim that glyphosate with hard water and arsenic causes kidney disease.

    Note that there no arsenic either, in the rajarata soil or water. So it was a nonsense theory used to frighten the public for their own political ends. They managed to get some politicians frightened, and got the herbicide banned, creating a dire threat on the tea industry.

    So the Minister has taken an intelligent decision.

  6. champa September 19, 10:52 AM

    Sri Lankan tea treated with glyphosate

  7. cancer patient September 19, 05:27 AM

    What a stupid assessment the Minister has made. Chronic Kidney Disease is occurring in hard water areas with high ferrous containing soils. However, the argument for banning Glysophates goes beyond CKD. It is because it is a toxin that gets into our food chain because the plants absorb it, and also as it gets into the water that flows down to all the rivers from the mountains of Sri Lanka, the fruits, vegetables and rice that gets grown in the lower lands are laced with these toxins. The population upcountry does not directly get affected by CKD but the populations in the hard water areas do. The Mahaveli system distributes the waters from the mountains to the dry zone that the bulk of the farming takes place. The chronic diseases stemming from glysophates is more than CKD and the country's health is at risk. The rise of cancers and other chronic disease is obvious and the source of this needs to be examined fully before any ban is lifted.

  8. Mark September 19, 04:49 AM

    Had a great making a TVCM at Sri Lanka Tea Estates in May 2016.

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