25/05/2015

Sri Lanka bans Glyphosate.

 

The President of Sri Lanka has banned the importation of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) [1] due to the increased incidence of chronic kidney disease associated with the use of glyphosate formulations. Argentina [2] has also published evidence of chronic reproductive and birth defects in women and children linked to glyphosate based herbicides.

In light of the evidence linking glyphosate-based formulations to renal problems it is time New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) implement testing of this universally used herbicide in its full formulation. This comes after the World Health Organisation re classified glyphosate category as a 2A carcinogen, published in the Lancet.[3]

GE Free NZ has discovered that MPI and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) have only ever conducted three glyphosate tests, one in 2002 on Potatoes, 2004 on Wheat and raw milk in 2010. In 2012 MPI removed the requirement to test glyphosate in foods through its annual National Chemical Contaminant Programme citing costs of testing. [4]

“We are shocked to find that in spite of the rising evidence of harm from glyphosate based formulations (which include Roundup), the MPI have chosen to discontinue glyphosate residue testing - human and animal health are paramount to the country and should never be sacrificed for cost. Costs of testing glyphosate have reduced recently, making testing more feasible.”

GBH residues are pervasive throughout the food chain, in animal feeds via pre harvest treatment of pasture and silage, and increased imports of unlabelled genetically engineered (GE) tolerant maize and soya, [5]. It is highly possible that glyphosate residues are entering the environment polluting the drinking and stock water aquifers. This is not known, as the New Zealand government does not test glyphosate through the National Pesticides in Groundwater survey.

“There are rising levels of chronic kidney and pancreatic illness does this have a link to the pervasive wide spread use of glyphosate based formulations?” said Claire Bleakley “It is time that our food safety and agricultural regulators stopped hiding behind trade barriers and industry sponsored science and put public health at the fore front by testing for glyphosate residues”.

GE Free NZ is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency and The Ministry of Primary Industries to immediately re assess and test for both glyphosate residues and the metabolite levels in the environment and the safety of the full formulations.

References:

[1] http://www.colombopage.com/archive_15B/May22_1432308620CH.php

[2] http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Devastating_Impacts_of_Glyphosate_Argentina.php

[3] http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanonc/PIIS1470-2045%2815%2970134-8.pdf

[4] http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/industry/sectors/dairy/monitoring-testing/nccp/documents.htm

[5] http://www.testbiotech.org/node/926

ENDS:

Claire Bleakley 027 348 6731 / 06 3089842

Jon Muller -0274794195

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