Mar 02, 2014 (LBO) – A herbicide developed by US-based Monsanto and contaminated fertilizer may be behind an epidemic of mystery kidney disease in Sri Lanka and South America where rice and sugarcane is grown, a research study has suggested. The paper by Channa Jayasumana (Rajarata University, Sri Lanka), Sarath Gunatilake (California State University, USA) and Priyantha Senanayake (Hela Suwaya Organization, Sri Lanka) has been published in Swiss-based International Journals of Environmental Research and Public Health .
N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine a widely used herbicide better known as glyphosate, could be helping carry heavy metals toxic to kidneys, occurring naturally and in agro-chemicals such as phosphate fertilizer, the researchers said.
Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) first appeared in Sri Lanka’s rice growing areas in the north central province in the 1990s and has been spreading into other areas including the South, with over 20,000 estimated deaths so far.
Glyphosate was originally used as a de-scaling agent to clean out calcium and other mineral deposits in hot water systems, the study said. De-scaling agents