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Nicaragua: Campaign against Grupo Pellas lacks scientific evidence

Claudia Serrano | 26.06.2009 16:47 | Education | Globalisation | Health | World

CKD campaign against Grupo Pellas and Nicaragua Sugar Estates and Flor de Caña Boycott by ANAIRC and UITA lack scientific evidence. Informative article on chronic kidney failure disease, its causes, and lack of scientific evidence linking it to sugarcane growing.

A group of people purportedly linked to the Nicaraguan Association of Persons Affected by Chronic Kidney Failure (ANAIRC) have been developing for some time a defamatory campaign on CKF against Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, based on unfounded allegations for the sole purpose of getting unjustified monetary compensations from the company. In the last few weeks they have also targeted Grupo Pellas in their campaign and have launched a boycott against the Flor de Caña brand.

The aforementioned campaign is based on the assumption that former ISA workers acquired the chronic kidney failure disease as a result of working for the company.

This campaign is unfounded because chronic kidney failure (CKF) is a multi-causal disease that is prevalent throughout the world. Known causes of CKF mainly include diabetes and high blood pressure.

In the United States, some 20 million people (one of every nine) are affected by this disease and another 20 million are at risk of acquiring it. In Japan, it is estimated that 20% of the adult population, some 20.5 million people, are affected by some form of the disease. In Spain, its prevalence has increased in recent years and affects one of every 8 Spaniards, amounting to 12% of the population.
In several Latin American countries and Canada, the number of CKF patients exceeds 3% of the population.

In Nicaragua, the disease is most prevalent in the Pacific region (León, Chinandega, Managua, Masaya, Granada, Carazo, and Rivas), including territories where there is no sugar activity, such as some municipalities of the department of León (Larreynaga, La Paz Centro, Nagarote), the department with the highest prevalence rate in the country.

There is no scientific study establishing a causal relationship between working in sugar processing estates and CKF, as shown by the fact that countries such as Guatemala, Cuba, or Brazil, where sugarcane cultivation is one of the main activities, are unaware of any CKF epidemics in their sugarcane growing areas. On the other hand, Japan, which does not grow sugarcane, reports the world’s highest prevalence.

Ingenio San Antonio (ISA) follows the same agricultural practices used throughout the world, with the added advantage of having an eco-friendly production system in place, since the protection of the environment is an essential element of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

To make known the truth about this disease, Nicaragua Sugar has established a website titled “Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited and Chronic Kidney Failure” at the following address:

The official website of Nicaragua Sugar also contains extensive information on the company’s production practices and corporate social responsibility policy. The website address is:

Other interesting links are:

Claudia Serrano
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