- According to the researchers, consumption of glyphosate-contaminated water may contribute to chronic kidney disease by facilitating the transport of heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium into the kidneys
- Since 1980, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) — the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of several journals, including Science — has presented an annual award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility to “scientists, engineers or their organizations, whose exemplary actions have demonstrated scientific freedom and responsibility in challenging circumstances.” As explained on the AAAS website:1
“The types of actions worthy of this award include acting to protect the public’s health, safety or welfare; focusing public attention on important potential impacts of science and technology on society by their responsible participation in public policy debates; or providing an exemplary model in carrying out the social responsibilities of scientists, engineers or in defending the professional freedom of scientists and engineers.
Some awardees have risked their freedom and even physical safety by their actions, while others have been honored for their advocacy and their leadership.”
2019 Award Winners
This year, the AAAS was slated to present the Scientific Freedom and Responsibility award to two human health researchers who have published papers linking glyphosate exposure to chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in Sri Lankan farmers:
- Dr. Sarath Gunatilake,2 professor of health science at the University of California, whose areas of expertise includes occupational and environmental health research.
- Channa Jayasumana, Ph.D.,3 a faculty member of Medicine and Allied Sciences at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, who conducts research into nephrotoxins (kidney toxins) and the causes and treatments for chronic kidney disease.
Their paper “Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?”4 was published in 2014, followed by “Simultaneous Exposure to Multiple Heavy Metals and Glyphosate May Contribute to Sri Lankan Agricultural Nephropathy,”5 and “Drinking Well Water and Occupational Exposure to Herbicides Is Associated With Chronic Kidney Disease in Padavi-Sri Pura, Sri Lanka,”6 in 2015.
In the third paper listed, the team found people who drank water from wells where glyphosate and heavy metal concentrations are higher had a fivefold increased risk of CKDu.
Award Winners Are Both Outspoken Critics of Glyphosate
Both Gunatilake and Jayasumana have previously taken a strong stance against glyphosate-based herbicides, highlighting the dangers of herbicide adjuvants. In a 2018 Daily Mirror article,7 Gunatilake noted that adjuvants added to glyphosate-based herbicides “are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate itself.” He went on to say:
“The point I’m trying to raise is that glyphosate without adjuvants is not very useful. Therefore, manufacturers have added these toxic chemicals into glyphosate and nobody is talking about them! Over the last 25 years, the pesticide industry had us hoodwinked by referring only to glyphosate and not to the adjuvants or additives included in these herbicides.”
Jayasumana, meanwhile, provided testimony8 at the yearlong International Monsanto Tribunal,9 which began December 2015, asserting that glyphosate use has resulted in ecocide.
In its February 4, 2019 press release,10,11 (which has since been removed from its website12), AAAS stated Gunatilake and Jayasumana “faced death threats and claims of research misconduct while working to determine the cause of a kidney disease epidemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in their home country of Sri Lanka and around the world. Ultimately, their advocacy led to the culprit, an herbicide called glyphosate, being banned in several affected countries.”
Jessica Wyndham, director of the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, said:13
“To right a wrong when significant financial interests are at stake and the power imbalance between industry and individual is at play takes the unique combination of scientific rigor, professional persistence and acceptance of personal risk demonstrated by the two scientists recognized by this year’s award.”
A whole house water filtration system down to 1 micron will stop glyphosate and other nasty substances and toxic metals from getting into you. Run a cheaper car and defend your life instead. Water is the number one point of defence for your health. I use itdoesthejob.com. run by Dwight Woods to buy and install whole house systems. Otherwise search ‘whole house water filtration systems’.
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