Connie, there is a serious public health issue in Sri Lanka that their government, the World Health Organization, and academics around the world have been focusing on for years. There are many theories, but the cause of chronic kidney disease (CKDu, where the “u” stands for unknown cause) has not yet been identified.
Early last year a publication from Channa Jayasumana and others put forth a theory that glyphosate in conjunction with heavy metals has the potential to cause kidney damage, and may be the cause of the increase in chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka. They offered no data or studies to support this theory. A recent epidemiological study by Jayasumana has serious methodological flaws. While the study confirms the well known association of CKDu with farming in certain regions, glyphosate use and farming are so closely tied together in Sri Lanka that this study cannot adequately tease out any contribution from glyphosate use alone.
Glyphosate is widely used in many countries where chronic kidney disease is not observed. Additionally, CKDu has been reported from multiple locations over the past century, with many instances taking place before the discovery and use of glyphosate in 1974. Glyphosate Facts
has more information on the history and safe use of glyphosate if you’re interested.
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