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Tuesday January 31st, 2023

Sri Lanka President lifts import ban on glyphosate

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has lifted a ban on glyphosate, a weed killer giving into a long standing request of the island’s tea industry.

In a gazette notice issued under the hand of President Wickremesinghe as Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies, the import ban on glyphosate has been lifted with effect from August 05.

Glyphosate has been shifted to a list of goods requiring permits.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena originally banned glyphosate under the 2015-2015 administration where Wickremesinghe was Prime Minister.

Sri Lanka’s tea industry in particular as been lobbying to allow glyphosate use as it is one of the internationally accepted weed killers and alternatives are not permitted under food regulation in some of the export destinations.

Sri Lanka lifted the ban in November 2021 and it was re-imposed and then agriculture Minister Mahindanda Aluthgamage said he ordered the official responsible for the liberalization to be removed from the post. (Colombo/Aug09/2022)

Comments (2)

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  1. Francis Perera says:

    A very good decision.

  2. Dr Ivan Amarasinghe says:

    Your article states “Sri Lanka’s tea industry in particular as been lobbying to allow glyphosate use as it is one of the internationally accepted weed killers and alternatives are not permitted under food regulation in some of the export destinations.”. It is patently untrue.
    So sad to note that while the rest of the world moves away from obsolete and questionable agrochemicals, Sri Lanka is still mired in archaic beliefs promoted by rather ignorant academic advisors.
    Here are some relevant global truths underscored by scientific opinion, global policy formulators.
    Countries Which Have banned Glyphosate
    Argentina, Australia, Austria Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark,, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, India,, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka (up to 2018 and reintroduced ban in 2021 but resumed application in 2022 due to political pressures), Sweden, Switzerland, , Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom,
    United States (28 of the 50 States have already banned Glyphosate to varying extents.
    Viet Nam (https://sustainablepulse.com/2019/03/25/vietnam-bans-import-of-glyphosate-herbicides-after-us-cancer-trial-verdict/#.XJkUM1NKiT9)
    German cabinet approves legislation to ban glyphosate from 2024
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-farming-lawmaking-idUSKBN2AA1GF
    Regional Collectives which banned Glyphosate

    Middle East
    Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture along with six other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since 2016, after reviewing IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.

    European Union
    Glyphosate is currently approved in the EU until 15 December 2022. Therefore, glyphosate can be used as an active substance in Plant Protection Products (PPPs), until that date, subject to each PPP being authorised by national authorities following an evaluation of its safety.
    Monsanto Banned from European Parliament as it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate
    MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller. “Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings…”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/28/monsanto-banned-from-european-parliament
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/blog/2018/august/monsanto-to-pay-289-2-million-in-landmark-roundu/
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/
    “The EPA has got it wrong on glyphosate. We have study after study after study showing that it in fact, does cause a specific type of cancer called lymphoma. And we see it happening in thousands and thousands of people across the country. Currently, this Administration and this EPA will not take action against Monsanto. We’ve seen the internal documents, the text messages, the emails between senior EPA officials and Monsanto employees. And the simple fact is they know that this EPA will not take adverse action against them. It is a travesty that this truth about it causing cancer and this awareness that we are trying to raise has to be done in the context of litigation. We only exist, these lawsuits only exist, because the EPA has failed the American public for 45 years and Monsanto is allowed to get away with reckless conduct with, essentially, impunity…this agency essentially does not work for the American public but works for industry. The fact that the White House is telling Monsanto, ‘We have your back.’ I mean this just tells us that we are going to have to keep fighting this fight and that we are not going to get any support or help from the public agencies that, ironically, are supposed to be protecting the public health.” – Brent Wisner, Roundup Cancer Attorney

    “…Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.
    It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings.
    Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (£260,000 – £350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels, according to its self-declaration form in the EU transparency register…”
    Why are they saying “NO GLYPHOSATE” after all these years of “yes to Glyphosate”!!!
    When I used Round Up on my field experimental sites some 30 years ago, Round UP was the trademark for Glyphosate. Recent Cutting Edge scientific surveys and opinion on safety of Glyphosate have drastically changed !
    Will Sri Lanka follow the advice and practice ?

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Comments (2)

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Francis Perera says:

    A very good decision.

  2. Dr Ivan Amarasinghe says:

    Your article states “Sri Lanka’s tea industry in particular as been lobbying to allow glyphosate use as it is one of the internationally accepted weed killers and alternatives are not permitted under food regulation in some of the export destinations.”. It is patently untrue.
    So sad to note that while the rest of the world moves away from obsolete and questionable agrochemicals, Sri Lanka is still mired in archaic beliefs promoted by rather ignorant academic advisors.
    Here are some relevant global truths underscored by scientific opinion, global policy formulators.
    Countries Which Have banned Glyphosate
    Argentina, Australia, Austria Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark,, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, India,, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka (up to 2018 and reintroduced ban in 2021 but resumed application in 2022 due to political pressures), Sweden, Switzerland, , Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom,
    United States (28 of the 50 States have already banned Glyphosate to varying extents.
    Viet Nam (https://sustainablepulse.com/2019/03/25/vietnam-bans-import-of-glyphosate-herbicides-after-us-cancer-trial-verdict/#.XJkUM1NKiT9)
    German cabinet approves legislation to ban glyphosate from 2024
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-farming-lawmaking-idUSKBN2AA1GF
    Regional Collectives which banned Glyphosate

    Middle East
    Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture along with six other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, have banned the use of glyphosate herbicides since 2016, after reviewing IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable human carcinogen’.

    European Union
    Glyphosate is currently approved in the EU until 15 December 2022. Therefore, glyphosate can be used as an active substance in Plant Protection Products (PPPs), until that date, subject to each PPP being authorised by national authorities following an evaluation of its safety.
    Monsanto Banned from European Parliament as it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate
    MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller. “Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings…”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/28/monsanto-banned-from-european-parliament
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/blog/2018/august/monsanto-to-pay-289-2-million-in-landmark-roundu/
    https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/
    “The EPA has got it wrong on glyphosate. We have study after study after study showing that it in fact, does cause a specific type of cancer called lymphoma. And we see it happening in thousands and thousands of people across the country. Currently, this Administration and this EPA will not take action against Monsanto. We’ve seen the internal documents, the text messages, the emails between senior EPA officials and Monsanto employees. And the simple fact is they know that this EPA will not take adverse action against them. It is a travesty that this truth about it causing cancer and this awareness that we are trying to raise has to be done in the context of litigation. We only exist, these lawsuits only exist, because the EPA has failed the American public for 45 years and Monsanto is allowed to get away with reckless conduct with, essentially, impunity…this agency essentially does not work for the American public but works for industry. The fact that the White House is telling Monsanto, ‘We have your back.’ I mean this just tells us that we are going to have to keep fighting this fight and that we are not going to get any support or help from the public agencies that, ironically, are supposed to be protecting the public health.” – Brent Wisner, Roundup Cancer Attorney

    “…Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.
    It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings.
    Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (£260,000 – £350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels, according to its self-declaration form in the EU transparency register…”
    Why are they saying “NO GLYPHOSATE” after all these years of “yes to Glyphosate”!!!
    When I used Round Up on my field experimental sites some 30 years ago, Round UP was the trademark for Glyphosate. Recent Cutting Edge scientific surveys and opinion on safety of Glyphosate have drastically changed !
    Will Sri Lanka follow the advice and practice ?

Sri Lanka shares down for 2nd day as tax hike, delay in Chinese debt assurance weigh

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged down on Tuesday as worries over delay in financial assurances from China which is mandatory for a $2.9 billion dollar IMF loan and rise in protests against tax hike kept investors in check, analysts said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged down by 0.28 percent or 24.62 points to 8,865.05. It fell for the second session after hitting more than three-month high.

“The market is looking for more macro cues because of faster Chinese debt assurance was expected. The market is also hit by fall in corporate earnings due to high taxes,” an analyst said.

China has given an initial response on debt re-structuring to Sri Lanka though analysts familiar with the process say it is not a ‘hard assurance’ sufficient for the IMF program to go through.

The International Monetary Fund is working with China on extending maturities of Chinese loans to defaulted countries like Sri Lanka, as there is resistance to hair-cuts, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters on January 14.
The earnings for first quarter are expected to be negative for many corporates with higher taxes and rising costs. However, investors had not expected earnings to be low in the December quarter because of year end pick ups on heavy counters, the analyst said.
Earnings in the second quarter of 2023 are expected to be more positive with the anticipation of IMF loan and possible reduction in the market interest rates as the tax revenue has started to generate funds.

However, the central bank said the IMF deal is likely in the first quarter or in the first month of the second quarter.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 dropped by 0.64 percent or 17.74 points to 2,764.51 points.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.7 billion rupees, slightly lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and while being significantly lower than 2022’s daily average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a net foreign inflow (NFI) of 93 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 413 million rupees so far this year.

Top losers were LOLC, Royal Ceramics Limited and Hayleys. (Colombo/Jan31/2023)

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Sri Lanka exports fall in December as global recession weighs

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports earnings fell 9.7 percent in December year-on-year as the island nation saw a drop in buying from its key export destinations which are facing a looming recession after the Russia-Ukraine war.

The earnings from the merchandise exports recorded $1.04 billion  in December 2022 compared to the same month in the previous year as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs.

“This was mainly due to the decrease in export earnings from Apparel & Textiles, Tea, Rubber based Products, and Coconut based Products, Food & Beverages, Spices & Essential Oils and Fisheries products,” the Export Development Board (EDB) said in a statement.

“The reason for this decline was due to the ongoing recession in major markets due to rising cost of production, energy etc. Imports declined sharply due to inflation and demand for goods and services are reduced.”

However, Sri Lanka saw a record export earning of $13.1 billion in 2022 due to increased demand in the key exports throughout the year

Earnings from all major product sectors except Electrical & Electronic components as well as Diamonds, Gems & Jewellery fell in December.

Exports of Apparel & Textiles decreased by 9.6 percent to $480.3 million in December 2022.  Export earnings from Tea fell by 3 percent to $107.3 million, Rubber and Rubber Finished products dropped 20.3 percent to $74.5 million,

However, export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components increased by 16.18 percent to $42.9 million in December 2022, while Diamond, Gems & Jewelry jumped 35.7 percent to $30.8 million. (Colombo/Jan31/2023)

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Sri Lanka records over 6,000 dengue cases in first three weeks of January

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka recorded over than 6,000 dengue cases in the first three weeks of January 2023 after a spell of heavy monsoon rain though a drop in cases is likely from February, officials said.

Health officials identified 6,204 dengue patients by January 22, up from 5,793 recorded in the corresponding period last year.

“A rise in cases can be observed in the November-January period with the heavy rain due to the northeast monsoon,” an official from the National Dengue Control Unit told EconomyNext.

Of all reported cases, 46.3 percent were from the Western Province, official reports showed.

Akuressa, Batticaloa, Eravur, Trincomalee, Madampe, Badulla, Eheliyagoda, Kegalle, Kalmunai North and Alayadivembu MOH areas were identified as high-risk areas for dengue during the third week of January by the health officials.

“We are expecting a decline in dengue cases soon. The Western province is always in the top position with the highest number of dengue cases. Apart from that, we are seeing a higher number of cases during this period in areas like Puttalam, Jaffna districts. A certain number of cases have also been recorded in the Kandy district,” the official said.

“Usually the cases peak in December, but they decline by February. This year, too, we are facing this scenario. There is an increase of dengue during the months of November, December and January”.

Due to the economic situation in the country, the Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) in an earlier report said, diesel and pesticides are not being provided by the ministry.

However, rejecting the allegation, the official from the NDCU said the government has provided enough funds for get the necessary pesticides but it is being used according to a scientific method to avoid building a resistance in the dengue mosquito.

“The recommendation is to do the fogging if there is a dengue outbreak or if there are few patients reported from the same locality.

“If you use this pesticide haphazardly, the mosquitos will develop resistance against it,” the official said, adding that there are adequate stocks of the chemical available. (Colombo/ Jan 31/2023)

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