Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe responds to The Island report

Apropos our news item titled Academics, GMOA call for probe into pesticide control officials’ assets on on May 19, Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe of Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo has sent us the following statement:

"While thanking The Island for highlighting the important issue of Chronic Kidney Disease and the possible link with agrochemical use, I wish to deny the first sentence of the said article, which states that I am one of the persons to "…request President Mahinda Rajapakse to issue an order to declare the assets of officials attached to the Pesticide Technical Advisory Committee". I have never made such a statement or request and shall be grateful if you would give adequate publicity to this denial. As an academic I do not wish to cast aspersions on officials who continue to do good work amidst great difficulties in extremely sensitive areas.

The article also draws attention to a paper I wrote to an academic journal on re-naming Chronic Kidney Disease if Unknown Aetiology (CKDu) as chronic agrochemical nephropathy. This was published and can be assessed freely and appears in the journal MEDICC Review ( The paper is an attempt to encourage further discussions on possible causes of a disease that is decimating poor rural farmers in a range of countries: Nicaragua, El Salvador, India, Egypt and Sri Lanka. However, renaming the disease remains controversial and is yet to be accepted by the academic community."


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