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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2965

ANRPC hopes to improve natural rubber sector

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 09 December, ( International Natural Rubber producing countries have agreed to continue to improve natural rubber statistics in their member countries to strengthen status of natural rubber however Secretary General of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing countries [ANRPC] Mr.Phillip Pondikou said synthetic rubber producers make huge barriers on natural rubber prices.

Speaking at their 29th General assembly held on Friday in Colombo he assured to monitor WTO activities, free trade agreements and regional agreements, which may influence the trade on Natural Rubber and natural rubber, affiliated products.

ANRPC was founded in 1970 , an inter-governmental organization, formed to promote the overall interest of the natural rubber community and currently has a membership of eight countries including Sri Lanka, now becomes a family on natural rubber, he said.

Its present membership comprises India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The membership of the organization is open to the governments of countries producing natural rubber.

Addressing ANRPC’s general assembly local Plantation Minister Milroy Fernando said natural rubber is a vital industrial raw material, which is used in the manufacturing of thousands of articles.

At present natural rubber prices are declining, said the minister.

Meanwhile local plantation ministry has taken steps to expand the rubber cultivation with the help of small rubber growers and also looking private sector involvement to make a green environment in bare lands of the Island’s dry zone.

The rubber industry of the country has shown signs of growth, recording a total production of 104,352 metric tons in year 2005 with productivity of 1,171 kilogram per hectare.

Over 200,000 persons are employed in the rubber industry and another 30,000 are employed in the rubber-based industries. Around 73 percent of the total rubber production is locally consumed by the rubber based manufacturing and value added industries, the minister said.

"My ministry has planned to grow another 20,000 hectare of rubber in non-traditional districts in the country during the period of 2007 to 2016.This will not only increase the total rubber production of the country, but also reduce the poverty level of the growing areas, “ Mr.Fernando said.

Meanwhile two scientists of the Division of Post Market Surveillance, Center for Devices and Radiological Health , USA have published a research paper connecting on “Natural Rubber Latex Allergy” said FDA investigations, which ultimately identified natural latex/natural rubber (NLNR) allergy as an emerging public health concern, were started in response to voluntary reports submitted by physicians, nurses, and technologists to medWatch.

The first reports described patient deaths that occurred during barium enema procedures, before the administration of barium. These initial voluntary reports from vigilant and concerned health professionals provided critical information that resulted in the identification of NLNR allergy as the probable cause of the events.

Additional reports received in response to a special FDA request for any information related to NLNR problems enabled FDA to issue a Medical Alert to raise clinical awareness of NLNR allergy issues. FDA has proposed an NLNR labeling regulation, participates in voluntary standards activities for medical gloves, has begun collaborative research on NLNR allergy-related issues, and has cosponsored an international conference on latex sensitivity.

FDA continues to receive many calls from health professionals requesting information on NLNR allergic and anaphylactic incidents. Since FDA began efforts to inform health professionals about such reactions, we have received many reports about problems with various medical devices that contain NLNR.

FDA has received over 1,000 allergic and anaphylactic reaction reports on NLNR patient examination and surgeon's gloves, most of them from health professionals reporting their own reactions. In response, FDA conducted research and published two articles, "Prevalence of Latex-Specific IgE Antibodies in Hospital Personnel’ and "Short Analytical Review: Latex-Associated Allergies and Anaphylactic Reactions.’ FDA continues to work with device manufacturers and other Federal agencies responsible for occupational health concerns regarding latex sensitivity. On June 23, 1997, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released an alert titled "Preventing Allergic Reactions to Natural Rubber Latex in the Workplace.

- Asian Tribune -

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