Regulator at fault
SRILANKA'S Registrar of Pesticides, which comes under the agriculture department, has been facing severe criticism for supporting multinational companies that import highly toxic agro-chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The Sri Lankan media reported that in one case, the registrar's office even made the customs department release arsenic- and mercurylaced pesticides from its custody. Several studies in the past have blamed such fertilisers for the increase in cases of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDue) among the farming community and the general public. In patients suffering from CKDue, the kidneys shrink to almost half the normal size, or even less. At this size, the kidneys are damaged beyond repair and death is almost certain.