Reg­u­la­tor at fault

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

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.

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