Docs remind President election  promise to ban toxic chemicals

GMOA shocked by authorities still allowing import of glyphosate in bulk

by Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday expressed shock at authorities allowing some agrochemical companies to import carcinogenic herbicide (glyphosate) in bulk.

GMOA National Health Issue Sub-Committee member Dr. Chinthaka Wijewardena said before the Presidential election, the incumbent President in his election manifesto had stated that all the agrochemicals which had been causing renal failure and CKD would be banned. But, so far no action had been taken to carry out that pledge, Dr. Wijewardena said.

Although a ban on glyphosate had been imposed in the North-Central province, yet the herbicide could be purchased in the black-market there in plenty. The government had to ban all agrochemicals injurious to human health, he stressed. The National Sub-Committee had decided to meet President Maithripala Sirisena once again to bring to his notice once again the need to ban all harmful agrochemicals.

Glyphosate residues had been found in the urine samples obtained from farmers and researchers had warned that glyphosate may enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions, Dr. Wijewardena said. It had also been proved that glyphosate might, even at extremely low ‘environmentally relevant’ amounts, stimulate hormone-dependent cancers, he said.

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