VIDEO: JHU says Cabinet being misled on Arsenic

VIDEO: JHU says Cabinet being misled on Arsenic

March 25, 2013   08:12 pm

The JHU today claimed that the report submitted to the Cabinet by the Health Secretary ignores the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), following the completion of its final report on the investigation and evaluation of the Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka.

Although the report of the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies pesticides and fertilizers containing Arsenic as prime causes for diseases, a report prepared disregarding these dangers was presented to the Cabinet by the Health Secretary without even consulting with the Health Minister, JHU MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero said.

Ven. Rathana Thero said that the WHO was tasked with asserting pesticides contain Arsenic and that the organization has clearly revealed that they contain Arsenic.

The Thero therefore inquired as to why a report created on Arsenic submitted to the Cabinet without even being shown to the Health Minister in order to protect companies,.

The WHO report identifies Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and agrochemicals as causes for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), however Ven. Rathana Thero says the report submitted to the Cabinet alleged that there is no such danger.

The Thero stressed that corporations should not be protected in this manner and that now 3 deaths are caused by Arsenic each day.

The Ven. Thero stated that the Minister of Health had taken a good stance against this and that how long he can maintain that was an issue.

Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero further said that as far as he knows all Ministry Secretaries are controlled by one Minister and that therefore it is the Secretaries and Advisers who are showing off more than their respective ministers. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has made strong recommendations following the completion of its final report on the investigation and evaluation of the Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka.

The final report of the investigations and evaluation of the CKDu in Sri Lanka by the WHO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, identified pesticides and fertilizers as prime causes for the disease.
One or more pesticide residues were found to be above reference levels in 31.6% of the people with CKDu.
Residues are demonstrative of the extent of the environmental distribution of pesticides and certain pesticides are nephrotoxic.
Simultaneous exposure to nephrotoxic pesticides may be contributing to the progression of the disease in people with CKDu, the report stated.
“Previous studies have reported high Cadmium values in fertilizer. The maximum Cadmium, Lead and Arsenic values in phosphate fertilizer from the endemic area in the present study were higher than the levels reported in agricultural soils in certain developed countries,” the report explained.

It has been reported that the use of alternative fertilizers, reduction of heavy metals in soil or making them less available, developing rice strains which require less fertilizer and resistant to pests had been recommended.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena recently said in parliament that the final report of the WHO, confirming the causes of the Chronic Kidney Disease of Uncertain Aetiology (CKDu), was presented to him and that it was being studied.
UNP Anuradhapura District Parliamentarian, P. Harrison had said that WHO statistics show that 15% of the NCP population, which amounts to approximately 150,000, is suffering from CKDu.

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