Sri Lanka's president has ordered a ban on herbicides containing glyphosate, including Monsanto's trademark Roundup, from being used or imported into the country.
The reason for the sudden ban is a recently released study which suggests that glyphosate is the leading cause of a growing kidney disease epidemic. According to that study, glyphosate increases the uptake of heavy metals to the kidneys, thus causing chronic kidney issues.
The study's lead author, Dr. Channa Jayasumana, said, "Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney."
The mysterious disease has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India, and is suspected to be caused by a combination of hard labor, chronic dehydration, high heat and exposure to toxins, such as glyphosate and heavy metals.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the ban soon after he learned of an "investigation carried out by medical specialists and scientists [which] revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate," Special Projects Minister S.M. Chandrasena said.