Saturday, March 16, 2013

Do we want Monsanto in Sri Lanka – We already have Round Up!

The link below talks of the fact that in the last ten years, Argentina has had 18million hectares, that is three times the surface area of Sri Lanka planted with GM Soya Bean. This GM Soya seed has been produced so it is resistant to Round Up the herbicide, we also use in Sri Lanka to kill all weeds including Illuk.

Whilst we do not have many wealthy farmers who have expropriated land from the poor peasants, to grow their crops in a large scale we have a worse scenario, where we have the pesticide use, the worst in South Asia with NO productivity to show for it. In that sense we are much worse than Argentina.

I was at the Cancer Hospital in Maharagama the other day for a Charity event where there were 40+ famous local singers, singing on a stage for the benefit of the inmates, who were wheeled down to watch and others who could not be taken from their beds could only hear the music through their broadcast speaker systems.

Here we in Sri Lanka have also seen a huge rise in Childhood Cancers. I have personally known of a child in Polonnaruwa who has died of it. So what are we doing about it as a country? At least Argentina has had an export boom in Soya, with highest growth rates in South America and has made many people wealthy and provided billions to the economy. Our farming has not produced one farmer millionaire, and instead made our farmers dependant on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with NO long term benefit to them to the country, or to other citizens.

The sooner we take a look at what it is we wish to see, do and establish in Sri Lanka as a national agricultural policy that is better able to provide nutrition to our citizens, and reduce the incidence of illnesses cancers, and other chemical fallout resulting diseases the better it is for the long term health of the nation.

There is NO action by this government led by brainless, charlatans to counter the impending doom. All the noise in the media which has completely mesmerized the ignorant and impressionable citizens into a false sense of security MUST be challenged if we are to stop in this track and take the right steps. It may hurt us for a few years to get the poison out of our lands, as it takes 5 to 10 years of non use to clean up the water supply and other contamination that is already at high levels.

The short term price is worth the long term gain in eliminating the country from the pests of the likes of Monsanto. Remember its most famous product, Round Up is used extensively in Sri Lanka! To what damage?


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Anonymous said...

I was in negombo the other day and my jaw dropped when i saw a man walking past with a Monsanto t-shirt. he seemed like staff. Anyways, i live in the states and for me, monsanto is the devil. I was naive to be surprised by monsanto presence here. Did some googling and found your blog. Wanted to know what people are doing in terms of farming activism here you point out, the cancer rate in this country is horrible and the links between pesticide and cancer is being made i think (from the general chatter i hear within the working class/rural people) but the links between corporations and pesticides..not so much. when did round up arrive in SL btw?