Sri Lanka bans glyphosate herbicide to avoid kidney disease risk

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: glyphosate, Sri Lanka, kidney disease

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(NaturalNews) Sri Lanka, the large island south of India, is home to more than 20 million people who are now saying "no" to Monsanto's Roundup. Sri Lanka's president has suddenly issued a ban on glyphosate herbicide, as new studies suggest that the chemical is a main culprit behind a growing kidney disease epidemic arising in agricultural workers in Central America.

Backlash immediately ensued from USA's Monsanto, who retaliated, saying that the new studies are based on untested theories rather than hard data. But medical specialists and scientists involved in the study were quick to reveal just how Roundup wreaks its havoc on the kidneys.

Glyphosate is a catalyst for heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic, channeling toxins readily to the kidneys

According to the study, glyphosate boosts the uptake of heavy metals to the kidneys. The glyphosate basically serves as a direct channel for heavy metals to surge into the kidneys, where they can accumulate readily and affect the function of the kidneys. As a catalyst, glyphosate can perpetuate the kidney problems of a typically dehydrated agricultural worker. In conjunction with poor drinking water -- that's usually loaded with heavy metals like aluminum, cadmium and arsenic -- glyphosate can speed up the damage that these metals have on the kidneys, welcoming kidney disease.

Lead author Dr. Channa Jayasumana reiterated the findings: "Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney."

Glyphosate actually makes farming less efficient, weakening agricultural workers, killing them off slowly

Glyphosate, which is typically regarded as a quick way to generate efficiency in agriculture, may actually be destroying more than just weeds and human gut bacteria. In the past two years, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has been examining the rise of a pervasive, mysterious form of kidney disease that is spurred by heavy metal uptake. It has been the official cause of death for tens of thousands of agricultural workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. Hard labor in tropical heat, coupled with heavy-metal-polluted drinking water has wrought many dehydrated workers. The workers, exposed to mass applications of glyphosate, are unintentionally straining their kidneys to the max, as the herbicidal chemicals create a pathway for heavy metals to shred their kidneys of whatever life they may have left. The result is many deaths of hard workers across Central America.

Sir Lanka bans the herbicide while El Salvador mulls similar legislation

Upon word of the investigations, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered an immediate ban and for glyphosate to be pulled from markets throughout the country.

Glyphosate, which is practically used everywhere else in the world, may be reconsidered. El Salvador has legislation in motion that effectively bans dozens of agrochemicals including glyphosate, if signed into law.

Thomas Helscher, a Monsanto spokesperson, is already bashing the findings and Sri Lanka's ban. While Monsanto cites no evidence of their own, Helscher retorts, "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."

Monsanto fails to admit patent information showing how glyphosate forms strong bonds with arsenic and cadmium

All eyes may now be on Monsanto, as they scramble to bring scientific evidence to the table showing that glyphosate is not a catalyst for heavy metals to damage the kidneys, but that may be impossible to prove now, since Monsanto knew from earlier tests that glyphosate has chelating properties, forming strong chemicals bonds with metals like arsenic and cadmium.

Jayasumana has long insisted that glyphosate empowers the heavy metals arsenic and cadmium to enter the kidneys readily, causing kidney disease. Now he's calling out Monsanto for not warning consumers of this potentially dangerous effect of Roundup.

"I don't see any warnings on the bottle or on the label," he said. "I feel it's a fault by Monsanto."

One 2013 study coordinated by Sri Lanka's health officials and the World Health Organization found high levels of cadmium in urine samples of diseased patients. Not coincidentally, 65 percent of patients also had glyphosate in their urine.

Jayasumana concludes, "I think we can explain the geographical distribution as well as the time problem with our hypothesis," referring to the odd geographic distribution of the disease and its sudden increase in affected regions during the 1990s.

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