No arsenic in local rice varieties – minister
The Agriculture Ministry yesterday said that locally produced rice
varieties do not contain arsenic. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa
Abeywardena said no traces of arsenic have been found in locally
produced rice varieties.
“As the minister in charge of Agriculture I can categorically state
that locally produced rice varieties do not contain arsenic as alleged
by certain quarters,” he said.
The minister noted that the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) had
conducted a research using 28 fertilizer categories and 60 rice
varieties in several areas.
ITI has identified that there are two of the varieties of such
fertilizer, a minimum quantity of arsenic is containing and they have
revealed that there is no arsenic deposits in Sri Lankan rice. Those two
fertilizer categories had been banned till the end of these researches,
the minister said.
ITI and other institutes such as the Central Agricultural Research
Institute, Sri Lanka Standards Institution had conducted this research
with the participation of a large number of intellectuals.
Minister Abeywardena further said that Sri Lanka is an Asian country
where fertilizer usage is at a minimum level. All the measures will be
taken by the Agriculture Ministry to provide healthy food to Sri Lankans.
Agriculture Ministry Secretary K E Karunathilaka, Weedicides
Registrar Dr Anura Wijesekera, Ministry’s Director General Dr Nimal
Dissanayake and other officials were participated.