El Salvador Government Bans Roundup over Deadly Kidney Disease

Posted on Sep 19 2013 - 4:10pm by Sustainable Pulse

In a shocking move the government of El Salvador in Central America has banned the use of Glyphosate (Roundup) and 52 other dangerous chemicals a recent press release by the El Salvador Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources made clear.

With 45 votes in favor, members of the FMLN, Unidos por El salvador and GANA approved the amendment of a Law on the control of pesticides, fertilizers and products for agricultural use, which allows the prohibition of 53 chemicals in El Salvador, Central America Data announced.

Among the list of the banned 53 chemicals are Paraquat, Glyphosate (Roundup) and Endosulfan.

The move comes amidst a mysterious kidney disease afflicting the region’s agricultural laborers. Central America’s health ministries signed a declaration in March 2013 citing the ailment as a top public health priority and committing to a series of steps to combat its reach, the Center of Public Intergrity revealed.

Over the last two years, the Center for Public Integrity has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is killing thousands of agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka and India. Scientists have yet to definitively uncover the cause of the malady, although emerging evidence points to toxic heavy metals contained in pesticides as a potential culprit.

El Salvador presented findings from an ongoing official study, conducted jointly with the Pan American Health Organization, suggesting that pesticides and fertilizers containing heavy metals may be to blame. Environmental tests of soil and water samples in a village heavily affected by CKD, Ciudad Romero, found the presence of high levels of cadmium and arsenic, heavy metals toxic to the kidneys. Among a sample of 42 residents of Ciudad Romero who suffer from CKD, all reported applying pesticides without any protective equipment.

Two chemicals in particular have come into investigators’ crosshairs in both El Salvador and Sri Lanka: 2,4-D and glyphosate. 2,4-D is a common herbicide used to control weeds, and glyphosate is the active ingredient in the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup.

In late 2012 Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini’s long-term study into Monsanto’s GM NK603 maize and Roundup showed an escalation of signs of liver and kidney toxicity found in Monsanto 90-day feeding trial (Hammond, B., et al. (2004). Results of a 13 week safety assurance study with rats fed grain from glyphosate tolerant corn. Food Chem Toxicol 42(6): 1003-1014), leading to liver / kidney failure and premature death, especially in males.

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Wendy September 19, 2013 at 18:31 - Reply

    Wish our government wasn’t too corrupt to do the same…

    • John April 28, 2015 at 17:49 - Reply

      Too corrupt to ban herbicides because of heavy metal concerns and commercial applicators not using PPE ?

      this came up in another country a few years back where there was high levels of arsenic in the ground water.

      did you read the article, or just the headline

      • Emily May 31, 2015 at 16:31 - Reply

        Did you read it? The El Salvadoran government banned it. Why would our government not also do so? The answer is because Monsanto puts too much money into the pockets of politicians. The Dept of Agriculture won’t test for it in food because it’s “too expensive”. (That’s from another article). The drinking water limit in EU is 760 times less than the tolerance in the US? Our government serves itself.

  2. Hari September 19, 2013 at 19:48 - Reply

    It is time for the people of India to oppose introduction of GM crops and food. Some scientists, politicians and lobbyists are directly / indirectly and in very subtle way are promoting GM seeds.

  3. denise September 20, 2013 at 03:25 - Reply

    The pacific nations need to do this lead r

    • Michael Bland September 21, 2013 at 13:08 - Reply

      Although there is a widespread community view that Roundup and glyphosate
      is somehow safe.

      This notion is wrong and requires attention.

      Following is the Abstract for a paper I read about a fortnight ago
      comparing generic glyphosate and Roundup.
      Roundup contains glyphosate but also other very nasty chemicals that assist
      the poison.
      The various tests conducted in the study led to the conclusion that Roundup
      is significantly more dangerous than straight glyphosate .
      This team of scientists has done a series of tests on glyphosate.
      The glyphosate series can be requested from the library avoiding the $35.00
      direct cost.

      Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human
      cell lines

      – Céline
      – Coralie
      – Nora
      – Emilie Clair
      – Marie-Christine
      – Gilles-Eric
      , [image: Corresponding author contact
      , [image: E-mail the corresponding author]

      – a University of Caen, Institute of Biology, Lab. Biochemistry EA2608,
      Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen cedex, France
      – b University of Burgundy, Lab. Food Toxicology UMR1129, 1 Esplanade
      Erasme, 21000 Dijon, France


      Glyphosate-based herbicides are the most widely used across the world; they
      are commercialized in different formulations. Their residues are frequent
      pollutants in the environment. In addition, these herbicides are spread on
      most eaten transgenic plants, modified to tolerate high levels of these
      compounds in their cells. Up to 400 ppm of their residues are accepted in
      some feed. We exposed human liver HepG2 cells, a well-known model to study
      xenobiotic toxicity, to four different formulations and to glyphosate,
      which is usually tested alone in chronic *in vivo* regulatory studies. We
      measured cytotoxicity with three assays (Alamar Blue®, MTT, ToxiLight®),
      plus genotoxicity (comet assay), anti-estrogenic (on ERα, ERβ) and
      anti-androgenic effects (on AR) using gene reporter tests. We also checked
      androgen to estrogen conversion by aromatase activity and mRNA. All
      parameters were disrupted at sub-agricultural doses with all formulations
      within 24 h. These effects were more dependent on the formulation than on
      the glyphosate concentration. First, we observed a human cell endocrine
      disruption from 0.5 ppm on the androgen receptor in MDA-MB453-kb2 cells for
      the most active formulation (R400), then from 2 ppm the transcriptional
      activities on both estrogen receptors were also inhibited on HepG2.
      Aromatase transcription and activity were disrupted from 10 ppm. Cytotoxic
      effects started at 10 ppm with Alamar Blue assay (the most sensitive), and
      DNA damages at 5 ppm. A real cell impact of glyphosate-based herbicides
      residues in food, feed or in the environment has thus to be considered, and
      their classifications as carcinogens/mutagens/reprotoxics is discussed.
      Choose an option to locate/access this article:
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      Purchase $35.95

  4. Borislav September 20, 2013 at 15:54 - Reply


  5. Frank September 20, 2013 at 23:44 - Reply

    Ireland too. Every Spring it is painful to see all the supermarkets and garden-centers stock up on all kinds of chemicals for everything and anything. I mean, how did people manage in the old days without all these hazardous chemicals? just fine is the answer. We are being told we need them, but we don’t.

  6. David R. (Canada) September 25, 2013 at 02:02 - Reply

    I guess we can expect the El Salvadoran government to be overthrown by a revolution next. After all, we wouldn’t want Monsanto’s profits to drop, would we?

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