China Says One-Fifth of Its Farmland Is Polluted
This should be of great concern to us considering all the food items we get from China. Could this be contributing to the spike of cancer deaths throughout the world? -Advent Messenger Commentary
AP News | April 18, 2014
Nearly one-fifth of China's farmland is polluted, mostly from years long accumulations of toxins from factories, mining and agriculture, the government said, raising sharp concerns about the country's food safety after years of unbridled industrialization.
Results of a nationwide survey of soil samples taken from 2005 through last year, and announced late Thursday, showed contamination in 16.1 percent of the country's soil overall and 19.4 percent of its arable land.
More than 80 percent of the pollution is the result of inorganic toxins, with the top three contaminants identified as cadmium, nickel and arsenic, according results of the investigation jointly announced by China's Environmental Protection Ministry and its Land and Resources Ministry.
"The overall condition of the Chinese soil allows no optimism," said the report, posted on the environment ministry website. "Some regions suffer serious soil pollution underscored by worrying farm land quality and prominent problems with deserted industrial and mining land."
The report confirms widespread concerns about the safety of China's soil following decades of explosive growth in the country's industry, the overuse of farm chemicals and lax environmental enforcement which have left vast swaths of the countryside tainted.