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Monsanto Set for Legal Battle in Sri Lanka over Kidney Disease Deaths


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Professor Channa Sudath Jayasumana from Rajarata University announced earlier this week that a group of farmer organizations, researchers, patients and the families of deceased farmers are set to take Bayer/Monsanto and other glyphosate herbicide manufacturers to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka over the link between glyphosate-based herbicides and fatal chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu), which has killed an estimated 25,000 people in the country.

Monsanto under fire

The Sri Lankan group stated that they followed the landmark cancer trial verdict in San Francisco last Friday very closely, in which Monsanto was ordered by a jury to pay over USD 289 Million in total damages to the former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, a California father who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was caused by Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup.

Glyphosate has also been linked to numerous other diseases and been shown to disrupt the microbiome even at safe levels

Prof. Jayasumana stated that “Research has proven that this agro chemical has a direct impact on the kidneys and could cause cancers.”

In Sri Lanka alone CKDu now afflicts over 15% of people of working age in the Northern part of the country; a total of 400,000 patients with an estimated death toll of around 25,000.

It has been reported that the upcoming legal battle will see a request for an estimated USD$620,000 in damages for each of the ‘victims’ and ‘patients’.

Prof. Jayasumana released a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2014 that proposed a link between the world’s number one selling herbicide – glyphosate – and a series of mysterious epidemics of CKDu affecting several poor farming regions around the world.

Prof. Jayasumana sat down for an interview with Sustainable Pulse in 2014 to full explain the issues surrounding glyphosate and CKDu in his country. He also followed his 2014 study with follow up research that further linked glyphosate-based herbicides to CKDu especially in combination with heavy metals.

What areas of the World are currently affected by CKDu? 11 countries on 3 continents are affected.

  • Sri Lanka – North Central, North Western Eastern and Uva provinces in Sri Lanka
  • India – Andra, Orissa (Odesha) provinces
  • Pacific coast of Central America– El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and  Southern Mexico.
  • Africa – Egypt, El Minia Governoate, Upper Egypt, Tunisia
  • Vietnam – Mekong river basin

The Sri Lankan government decided to partly lift their 2015 ban on the use of glyphosate earlier this year, to enable tea and rubber farmers to use the herbicide again.

Original article appeared on Sustainable Pulse

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