No Glyphosate containers released as claimed: Ravi

29 May 2015 04:40 pm - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Glyphosate controversy has taken another twist with Finance Minister contradicting the statement made by acting Customs Director General R. Semasingha that 15 containers of Glyphosate had been released legally.

The minister said none of the containers had been released nor had it been banned in Sri Lanka but that 40 containers detained by Customs would be destroyed on a presidential decree.

President Maithripala Sirisena had banned the import of the highly harmful agro-chemical Glyphosate after studies had revealed that the use of this chemical had in a large way contributed to the spread of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) in many parts of the country.

Commenting on the circumstances that led to the resignation of former Customs Chief Jagath Wijeweera, the minister said he had done so on his own over a personnel issue. There was no political influence that prompted his resignation as alleged by the opposition.

Responding to a journalist at the news briefing at his office, the minister said Glyphosate had not been banned in Sri Lanka as claimed by former Agricultural Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywadana but the Customs had been instructed to destroy the 40 containers of Glyphosate on a directive issued by President Maithripala Sirisena.

However, Mr. Abeywardana said Glyphosate was banned in Sri Lanka in February, 2014 in six districts in the North-Central, Uva and Eastern Provinces in a bid to control CKD.

"There was a protest from the tea industry because Glyphosate is used as the main weedicide in tea plantations and the ban was active only in six districts," Mr. Abeywardana said.

Mr. Abeywardana also alleged that former Mr. Wijeweera had resigned because of political pressure to release 15 containers of Glyphosate. However, Mr. Wijeweera is still to deny the allegation if it was wrong. (SAJ)

  Comments - 12

  • gamini Tuesday, 02 June 2015 06:01 AM

    Thanks. I am familiar with the farming in the dry-zone after 10 yrs of field work in SL. There are too many assumptions, mis-information and no supporting data at all in the article by Jayasumana et.al. that I will address in a lengthy letter. The amount of used glyphosate per sq feet is about 20 mg which is the weight of about 3-4 mustard seeds. This unlikely will cause damaging effects in soil and this at most is used twice in a year. Beside Cd and Ni many other metallic ions will compete with glyphosate for chelation. As the chelated products are water soluble, they are likely to move with the water to the rivers every year. Cd and Ni toxicity show other symptoms before renal failure, hence excess Ni could be an effect rather than a cause. To me there is a better correlation between Mahaweli project areas and CKD than hard-water zones with all CKD cases in the Mahaweli system. Any thoughts?

    Chandra Saturday, 30 May 2015 05:19 PM

    There was no central bank bond issue problem under unp government likewise this is also not happened. via DM Android App

    mountain Sunday, 31 May 2015 09:48 AM

    Good chance Ravi via DM Android App

    Udugampola Saturday, 30 May 2015 09:55 AM

    How public servant like Jagath talk freely under UNP Police Junta who fabricated cases under public property Act ?

    Nihal Amarasekera Saturday, 30 May 2015 09:58 AM

    May be just sell it through the back door.

    Narayan Sunday, 31 May 2015 11:28 AM

    Please note that not many US states use surface runoff water as a source of drinking water. Sri Lanka has a much more complicated problem.

    ShootingStar Friday, 29 May 2015 10:17 PM

    Oh! Baduth ekka horu. It was a hit when I was a kid and it is back in vogue again.

    Giabao Friday, 29 May 2015 11:14 PM

    How childish is it to ban selling something district wise in a small country like Sri Lanka. Everyone is just going through the motions.

    Lalith Sunday, 31 May 2015 01:34 PM

    Farming in USA can not compare with farming Sri lanka. USA uses more machine and Sri Lanka farmers use mainly labour. So the probable risk is higher than USA.

    Gamini Saturday, 30 May 2015 02:47 AM

    Millions of acres of crops in the US are treated with glyphosate every year with no known harmful effects. Glyphosate resistant crops have been developed and commercially grown in the US currently. The researchers in SL have found a correlation between glyphosate and CKD. A correlation is not proof that this is the cause without eliminating other factors such as farmer habits, insecticides, fungicides and their interactions. These compounds also may show some correlation with the CKD if studied. When I was working in SL, a farmer in the dry zone told me that they mix malathion in with cowpea for consumption to prevent weevil infections and wash them before cooking. Banning glyphosate is a shot in the dark with noise as guidance. The economic loss to the tea and rubber is high by this. It will take 15 yrs to know if this is the right decision! It is better to have a safe potable water system to the farmers that will take care of the CDK problem.

    Gamini Saturday, 30 May 2015 02:47 AM

    Continuing with the above post; I was one of the first to field test glphosate in Sri Lanka (SL) back in 1974 while in the Department of Agriculture. Later I earned a PhD in a US university on the work conducted on the movement of ghyphosate in nutsedge (kalanduru). I am currently a researcher in a leading medical college in the US. However I am not familiar with the toxicological research on glyphosate

    kumar Saturday, 30 May 2015 05:23 AM

    How do you "destroy" Glyphosphate?!Do you burn it, bury it or dump it in water??!! Please "educate" me!


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