Monsanto pressures Sri Lanka to reverse ban on herbicide believed to be causing widespread kidney disease

Sunday, April 20, 2014 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: Monsanto, glyphosate ban, kidney disease

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
The five biggest lies about Ebola being pushed by government and mass media
Ultraviolet light robot kills Ebola in two minutes; why doesn't every hospital have one of these?
Tetanus vaccines found spiked with sterilization chemical to carry out race-based genocide against Africans
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
The best way to help your body protect itself against Ebola (or any virus or bacteria)
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
W.H.O. contradicts CDC, admits Ebola can spread via coughing, sneezing and by touching contaminated surfaces
Top ten things you need to do NOW to protect yourself from an uncontrolled Ebola outbreak
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
Governments seize colloidal silver being used to treat Ebola patients, says advocate
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises

(NaturalNews) Monsanto has successfully pressured the government of Sri Lanka to back off from banning its signature chemical glyphosate, commonly known by the trade name Roundup. The Sri Lankan government had moved to ban glyphosate following findings that linked it to an epidemic of kidney failure that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers.

For years, a rare kidney disease has been devastating farm workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. The cause of the disease remains unknown, although scientists have suggested that a combination of chronic dehydration (due to hard labor in tropical climates) and exposure to toxic chemicals may be to blame.

On March 12, the Sri Lankan government made an announcement that the country's president would be banning the herbicide based on a scientific report that "revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate."

Monsanto, other chemical companies and Sri Lankan officials connected to the pesticide industry immediately began contesting the decision, attempting to cast doubt on its scientific basis. Less than a month later, the government placed the glyphosate ban on hold.

A similar story took place in El Salvador last year. The country's Legislative Assembly approved a ban on glyphosate and 52 other agricultural chemicals, largely due to their suspected role in the kidney disease epidemic. The president refused to sign the bill into law, however.

Roundup binds to toxic metals

The scientific paper that led to the now-suspended Sri Lankan ban was published by Channa Jayasumana of Rajarata University in Sri Lanka, along with another Sri Lankan researcher and one from California State University-Long Beach. The paper suggested that Roundup is unique among herbicides in the strength with which it binds to heavy metals, including toxic ones such as arsenic and cadmium. This binding produces new, stable compounds that do not break down until they enter the kidneys, the researchers hypothesized. In fact, glyphosate's original patent was as a chelating agent, a chemical that forms strong bonds with metals.

"Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney," Jayasumana said.

Scientific support for this hypothesis is accumulating. A World Health Organization study found detectable levels of both glyphosate and cadmium (as well as other pesticides and heavy metals) in the urine of kidney patients, as well as in the environments of places where the disease is endemic.

Both experimental and theoretical evidence also support the contention that glyphosate binds to metals more strongly and aggressively than other pesticides. At least one experimental study has suggested that it forms strong bonds with cadmium specifically.

"As far as I know, there are no other common herbicides that would have this same sort of strength of interactions with metals," U.S. Geological Survey researcher Paul Capel said.

Although the existence of a chemical compound formed by a union of glyphosate and toxic heavy metals has not yet been proven, Jayasumana's paper suggests a possible chemical structure for this compound. In addition, Jayasumana says that his research team has detected the compound and is planning to publish the findings.

"We experimentally detected [the compound] in drinking water samples, some food items and in urine samples of [kidney disease] patients," he said.

Ban may still go through

The fight over the future of glyphosate is far from settled. In Sri Lanka, the ban may still go forward. In El Salvador, campaigners hope that the country's newly elected president will sign the ban that his predecessor rejected.

And in Brazil, which has not suffered from the kidney disease epidemic, a prosecutor has nevertheless asked the government to ban glyphosate and a number of other agricultural chemicals.

Their safety, he says, has never been proven.

Sources for this article include:

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.