CKD and agrochemicals- This article is in response to article by Dr. Dr. Anura Wijesekara
Posted on April 21st, 2013

Ben Silva

Even after the WHO report, which made a link between CKDS and agrochemicals, persons such as Dr Dr. Anura Wijesekara , still attempt to deny the link. He is trying to confuse matters further by  introducing “ Lysenkoism “. It is better  for Dr AW, to see how scientists tried to show that asbestos and cigarette smoking are harmless.

I agree with Dr Wijesekara that decisions need to be evidence based, as I am a strong believer of evidence based decision making, which is the foundation of science. However I would say that probability and consequences also need to be taken into account. In short, risk has to be taken into account, specially when peoples lives are at risk. One of the things that come to my mind, when CKD is discussed, is the safety debate on Asbestos and cigarette smoking.  For over 40 years some scientists said that asbestos is safe within limits. Now it is found that Asbestos to be very dangerous, even in small amounts of exposure. Scientists with vested interests, scientists who had links with the asbestos industry said asbestos was safe. A similar thing happened with cigarettes smoking, with some scientists saying cigarette smoking is harmless whilst others saying it is dangerous. Now we know for a fact that cigarette smoking and asbestos  are both  dangerous.

 Again, just as in the case of asbestos, scientist with vested interests or those that has links with the tobacco industry said smoking was safe. I can draw some parallels with CKD, and could say that scientist with vested interests or links with agrochemical manufacturers/suppliers deny a link between CKD  and agrochemicals. Scientists have made many blunders. One example is Thalidomide .  Amongst scientists we need to recognise that there will be people with self interest at heart and  those that ignore the safety of innocent people. Businesses cannot also be trusted as their motive is to maximise profit. Recent ‘horse meat’  scandal  comes to my mind when the public was fraudulently given horse meat for beef, in order to boost profit.

 How can  the public be sure that agrochemical manufactures are acting legally with the safety of farmers in mind ?

We have to be aware that scientists can be influenced by money or favours.  It is known   that both arsenic and cadmium are toxic, and exposure to these substances would cause kidney failure. Various scientists have said that there is a  link between CKD and agro chemicals.. It is also known that people who drink water free of toxins do not get CKD. It is also observed, with evidence, that people who consume water contaminated by cadmium and arsenic develop CKD. Clearly, the safest assumption is to prevent toxins getting into the environment by banning  products containing these substances. As both Cadmium and Arsenic cause kidney failure, most prudent thing, to prevent deaths, is to ban these substances entering the environment until, scientists prove that these substances are safe to use.

 As  agrochemicals  is a big business, like the tobacco and the asbestos industry, vested interests will do their best to protect their financial interests, and will promote continued use of products that kill innocent farmers.

Only the voice of the people could stop this slaughter of innocent people.

See the link for further views ref: http://www.theworld.org/2012/09/sri-lanka-kidney-chemicals/

The government ought to consider if officials responsible could be put on manslaughter/negligence charges.

Scientists can play games with words  or get favours from big businesses,  but it is the innocent people that get killed.

It is the nation’s responsibility to protect the poor  farmers in Rajarata who produce food  from being wiped out slowly.  Let me quote  Ranjith Soysa “  scientists who used the CKD to make money by engaging in experiments for the last 20 years without any tangible results”. I agree with Ranjith that some scientists may be using the crisis to publish papers or get funding.

Even after the WHO report, which made a link between CKDS and agrochemicals, persons such as Dr Dr. Anura Wijesekara , still attempt to deny the link. He is trying to confuse matters further by  introducing “ Lysenkoism “. It is better  for Dr AW, to see how scientists tried to show that asbestos and cigarette smoking are harmless.

Persons such as Dr Wijesekewra are playing with words and are confusing the issue. It is easy to say there are different views and do nothing, whilst people  suffer and die.

Has Dr. W  heard of risk assessment ? Action to protect people has to be taken now.

11 Responses to “CKD and agrochemicals- This article is in response to article by Dr. Dr. Anura Wijesekara”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said Ben!

    ON THIS MATTER, I agree with you.

    If arsenic was there naturally WITHOUT AGROCHEMICALS, people would have died in millions in the past when our agriculture based capital was in Anuradhapura!!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    We are wondering why it is that areas BORDERING the ltte held areas are suffering from pesticide poisons ….

    That there is pesticide poisoning is PROVED & UNDOUBTED. How the extra poisons got into the bags of pesticides remains a mystery.

    If Arsenic was naturally present in those areas, as Lorenzo say, MILLIONS would have died in the past long ago, and those areas
    would be barren and deserted by now. Let reason be our guide.

  3. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Some sense has crept into the brain of big ben and editor should be commended to keep ben as a contributor to this prestigious journal. He goes by decision based on evidence. This is why our big ben says drop buddhism as the wise indians did and chose desire instead of nibbaner, as he cannot find evidence. And now he has two sets of scientists. One basially driven by money and other driven by non greed, no desire for money. Our administration in lanka is corrupt to the hilt. Organisation like bbs should take on this govt on every issue of this nature. Govt decisions are based on personal benefits as this trade involves huge commisions. The leader is unwise and a poor decision maker.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Interesting observation Fran. Terrorists are capable of such things. We must follow them in Jaffna if found to be true.

    Are there any easy ways to EXTRACT arsenic and put to commercial use?

  5. Ben Silva Says:

    To answer Fran, the cascaded irrigation system, recirculates, water contaminated by agrochemicals. Farmers may consume this contaMINATED WATER. What is known for certain is that people who drink clean water do not get CKD. So the solution is to give cleaN WATER AND TO STOP TOXINS GETTINGB INTO THE ENVIRONMENT. Clean water falls from the sky.
    Shame, that Lanka, a Buddhist country does not do much to help suffering people. I can think of a commercial use of arsenic, an express way to reduce suffering, but I will keep my thoughts to myself.

  6. Anura Says:

    Hi guys

    Thanks for all the response. I am sending the WHO report (analytical part) to the editor hoping he will publish it in the site. You all can see the kind of links established by WHO. As of risk analysis we are trying our best to do that and all the help we can get will be gladly welcome.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka was known as the GRANARY OF THE EAST. They did not have commercial fertilisers or pesticides then. How did our farmers manage ? Our BUDDHIST farmers knew how to farm properly, by using organic methods ! A great pity that such practices were lost in time due to Invaders from Tamil Nadu area as well as Colonisation.

    Since COLONISATION and introduction of modern farming methods inherited from the Colonists, use of commercial fertilisers & pesticides have been introduced, and poisons therein crept into soil and water in the NCP. Even the Mahaveli tributaries have contaminated water (Cadmium from fertilisers). As Ben points out, the poisons accumulate in the water, is consumed and people fall ill. I might add that such poisons accumulates in the soil too, and I imagine this would be far more difficult to remove.

    It is time for farmers to go ORGANIC again, with minimum use of commercial fertilisers & pesticides.

    I know of some cities in the US that use the Reverse Osmosis method to get really clean water free of all poisons and even chlorine and other additives to water.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    A long note on the Reverse Osmosis process, taken from Wikipedia. The size of the RO device can vary to serve a household or an entire community of people. :

    REVERSE OSMOSIS Applications

    Drinking water purification

    Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 31 operate ROWPUs for relief efforts after the 2006 Southern Leyte mudslide
    Around the world, household drinking water purification systems, including a reverse osmosis step, are commonly used for improving water for drinking and cooking.
    Such systems typically include a number of steps:
    * a sediment filter to trap particles, including rust and calcium carbonate
    optionally, a second sediment filter with smaller pores
    * an activated carbon filter to trap organic chemicals and chlorine, which will attack and degrade TFC reverse osmosis membranes
    * a reverse osmosis (RO) filter, which is a thin film composite membrane (TFM or TFC)
    * optionally, a second carbon filter to capture those chemicals not removed by the RO membrane
    optionally an ultra-violet lamp for sterilizing any microbes that may escape filtering by the reverse osmosis membrane.

    In some systems, the carbon prefilter is omitted, and cellulose triacetate membrane (CTA) is used. The CTA membrane is prone to rotting unless protected by chlorinated water, while the TFC membrane is prone to breaking down under the influence of chlorine. In CTA systems, a carbon postfilter is needed to remove chlorine from the final product, water.

    Portable reverse osmosis (RO) water processors are sold for personal water purification in various locations. To work effectively, the water feeding to these units should be under some pressure (40 pounds per square inch (280 kPa) or greater is the norm).[citation needed]
    Portable RO water processors can be used by people who live in rural areas without clean water, far away from the city’s water pipes. Rural people filter river or ocean water themselves, as the device is easy to use (saline water may need special membranes). Some travelers on long boating, fishing, or island camping trips, or in countries where the local water supply is polluted or substandard, use RO water processors coupled with one or more UV sterilizers. RO systems are also now extensively used by marine aquarium enthusiasts. In the production of bottled mineral water, the water passes through an RO water processor to remove pollutants and microorganisms. In European countries, though, such processing of Natural Mineral Water (as defined by a European Directive[4]) is not allowed under European law. In practice, a fraction of the living bacteria can and do pass through RO membranes through minor imperfections, or bypass the membrane entirely through tiny leaks in surrounding seals. Thus, complete RO systems may include additional water treatment stages that use ultraviolet light or ozone to prevent microbiological contamination.
    Membrane pore sizes can vary from 0.1 nanometres (3.9×10−9 in) to 5,000 nanometres (0.00020 in) depending on filter type. “Particle filtration” removes particles of 1 micrometre (3.9×10−5 in) or larger. Microfiltration removes particles of 50 nm or larger. “Ultrafiltration” removes particles of roughly 3 nm or larger. “Nanofiltration” removes particles of 1 nm or larger. Reverse osmosis is in the final category of membrane filtration, “hyperfiltration”, and removes particles larger than 0.1 nm.
    In the United States military, Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units are used on the battlefield and in training. Capacities range from 1,500 to 150,000 imperial gallons (6,800 to 680,000 l) per day, depending on the need. The most common of these are the 600 and 3,000 gallons per hour units; both are able to purify salt water and water contaminated with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents from the water. During 24-hour period, at normal operating parameters, one unit can produce 12,000 to 60,000 imperial gallons (55,000 to 270,000 l) of water, with a required 4-hour maintenance window to check systems, pumps, RO elements and the engine generator. A single ROWPU can sustain a force the size of a battalion, or roughly 1,000 to 6,000 servicemembers.[citation needed]
    [edit]Water and wastewater purification
    Rain water collected from storm drains is purified with reverse osmosis water processors and used for landscape irrigation and industrial cooling in Los Angeles and other cities, as a solution to the problem of water shortages.
    In industry, reverse osmosis removes minerals from boiler water at power plants. The water is distilled multiple times. It must be as pure as possible so that it does not leave deposits on the machinery or cause corrosion. The deposits inside or outside the boiler tubes may result in under-performance of the boiler, bringing down its efficiency and resulting in poor steam production, hence poor power production at turbine.
    It is also used to clean effluent and brackish groundwater. The effluent in larger volumes (more than 500 cu. meter per day) should be treated in an effluent treatment plant first, and then the clear effluent is subjected to reverse osmosis system. Treatment cost is reduced significantly and membrane life of the RO system is increased.[citation needed]
    The process of reverse osmosis can be used for the production of deionized water.
    RO process for water purification does not require thermal energy. Flow through RO system can be regulated by a high pressure pump. The recovery of purified water depends upon various factors including membrane sizes, membrane pore size, temperature, operating pressure and membrane surface area.
    In 2002, Singapore announced that a process named NEWater would be a significant part of its future water plans. It involves using reverse osmosis to treat domestic wastewater before discharging the NEWater back into the reservoirs.
    [edit]Food industry
    In addition to desalination, reverse osmosis is a more economical operation for concentrating food liquids (such as fruit juices) than conventional heat-treatment processes. Research has been done on concentration of orange juice and tomato juice. Its advantages include a lower operating cost and the ability to avoid heat-treatment processes, which makes it suitable for heat-sensitive substances like the protein and enzymes found in most food products.
    Reverse osmosis is extensively used in the dairy industry for the production of whey protein powders and for the concentration of milk to reduce shipping costs. In whey applications, the whey (liquid remaining after cheese manufacture) is concentrated with RO from 6% total solids to 10–20% total solids before UF (ultrafiltration) processing. The UF retentate can then be used to make various whey powders, including whey protein isolate used in bodybuilding formulations. Additionally, the UF permeate, which contains lactose, is concentrated by RO from 5% total solids to 18–22% total solids to reduce crystallization and drying costs of the lactose powder.
    Although use of the process was once avoided in the wine industry, it is now widely understood and used. An estimated 60 reverse osmosis machines were in use in Bordeaux, France in 2002. Known users include many of the elite classed growths (Kramer) such as Château Léoville-Las Cases in Bordeaux”.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    This is a massive project and has to be undertaken at GoSL level.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    We wish to draw attention to cures/relief from, for CKD by use of Homeopathy medicines. Herewith an extract (reprinted again for effect) :

    Homeopathy has effective cures for CKD. However, very clean water to stop further absorption of heavy metals, a good diet with added natural supplements and home care a must. Here is an extract from the net on h’pathy & heavy metal poisoning. Please read many more articles on the net on the subject.
    India produces their own Homeopathy products and have many books in English on the subject (re-prints possibly pirated !). There are “succusion” machines in the market to produce the H’pathy medicines. GoSL should start producing our own H’pathy medicines and sell via the Osu Selas. H’pathy motto says “Similars Cure”.

    More …

    ” Heavy Metal Toxicity
    Posted on June 23, 2012 by David W. Rowland
    Aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel are heavy metals that tend to accumulate within the brain, kidneys and immune system, where they can seriously impair normal functioning. Most heavy metals in the body are the result of industrial contaminants in the environment. Other sources include aluminum from antacids and cookware; cadmium and lead from cigarette smoke; lead from pesticide sprays, cooking utensils and the solder in tin cans; and mercury from dental amalgam fillings, contaminated fish, and cosmetics. Workers with high exposure to heavy metals include battery makers, dentists, gasoline station attendants, printers, roofers, and solderers.

    Early signs of heavy metal poisoning are often vague and attributed to other causes. They include: fatigue, headache, indigestion, muscle pains, tremors, anemia, pallor, constipation, dizziness, poor coordination, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Almost everyone with even mild heavy metal toxicity experiences impaired ability to think or concentrate. As toxicity increases, so do the symptoms.

    Intravenous EDTA chelation removes heavy metals from the bloodstream. Homeopathic dilutions of the specific heavy metals involved (e.g., aluminum, cadmium, lead, nickel) stimulate the release of heavy metals from all tissues of the body. Frequent saunas can also be helpful”.

    The sauna effect may be natural in hot weather in Sri Lanka as we tend to sweat a great deal here due to heat & HUMIDITY.

  11. mjaya Says:

    Putting our differences aside,

    Well said Ben Silva!

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