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Govt. to ban new glyphosate substitute


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By Chamodi Gunawardana 

The Government expects to ban a new harmful gluphosiate agrochemical which has been imported instead of the typical glyphosate chemical, said MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero, who is on the frontline of lobbying against risky chemicals and pesticides, which are suspected of causing chronic kidney disease. The Thero stated he had discussed the issue with Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake who had pledged to ban the chemical this week.

However, the Thero claimed the new agrochemical had been imported without the knowledge of the President or the Prime Minister. According to Rajarata University research, the new gluphosiate agrochemical is 15 times more harmful than the already-banned Glyphosate chemical. 

The research had also detailed two leading Sri Lankan companies allegedly importing 300,000 litres of the chemical for tea cultivation without Government approval. Rajarata University research found the new gluphosiate will cause many health issues including possible kidney disease and affect male fertility.  

The Government banned glyphosate in 2015 after the scientific community earmarked the chemical as being one of the reasons for the rapid spread of kidney disease in key agriculture areas in Sri Lanka. The Gazette notification issued by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on June 2015 banned import and use of glyphosate under the Import and Export (Control) Act, No. 01 of 1969.


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