No cadmium in rice grown in Sri Lanka, says Minister
Posted on June 19th, 2013
The WHO sponsored study (which took over three years, and the collaboration of over 50 top notch Sri Lankan scientists and doctors) issued a report on toxins in our environment in the context of chronic kidney disease.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Page 15 of it says that 234 water samples were analyzed for Cadmium, Arsenic and other toxins. ALL samplesÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â had very safe levels (i.e., a few parts per billion). Fish and vegetables analysed were also OK.
However, they noted that lotus root was found to have a slightly higher level of these toxic metals as some plants and some fish can concentrate toxins.
The knee-jerk reaction of people is to blame fertilizers and pesticides.
It is true that people in Sri Lanka use excess fertilizer and pesticides. But if the fertilizers etc were responsible, then the water table should have been polluted. Up-country people would have got CKDU first as the tea estates use a lot of fertilizer. No body has found that tea leaves have As, Cd, etc.
Luckily, the torrential rains that we have in Lanka wash out the toxins into the rivers and send them to the sea. However, if people could reduce fertilizers and pesticides, that would produce a better, more healthy environment, although it involves more demanding and thoughtful methods of agriculture.
The problems of healthÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â arises mainly because of the foolish life-style of a lot of people, congested living and congested, polluted roads.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â People drink coca cola, pepsi and other drinks full of sugar, and start getting diabetes, with weakening of kidney. According to various writers (Prof Weeraratne, Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana, and others), people (especially males working in the hot sun of in the Rajarata) don’t consume enough water to flush out any toxins.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â If people drank enough water every day, toxins would get flushed out naturally.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But instead of drinking water, they drink a few cokes, pepsi and such “prestige” drinks, followed by kassipppu in the night!
However, we do have a few people like Dr. Jayasumana of Rajarata University claiming that it must be metal toxins. Prof Nalin de Silva ( ex-math professor at Kelaniya) claims that a ladyÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â who hears voices had heard from “divine sources” that the CKDU is because of Arsenic in the Rajarata soil. Normally, we regard such people who hear voices as schizophrenics (a type of mental sickness) who can be cured by suitable medication.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â A chemistry lecturer at Kelaniya, following Nalin de Silva’s claim,ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â should have analyzed the rajarata soil. Instead she analyzed hair and nails of CKDU patients and showed that they had excess Arsenic. But this merely shows that such CKDU patients cannot flush out the toxins (bad kidney) and so they have concentrated the toxins in their bodies. The Kelaniya lecturers should have also looked into the life styles of these patients that made them sick in the first place.
Anyway, it is good to have the minister confirm that many chemical analyzes of the rice have been made and the rice is found to be safe.