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China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 18, 2014 at 7:59 a.m.

BEIJING — Faced with growing public anger about a poisonous environment, China's government released a years-long study that shows nearly one-fifth of the country's farmland is contaminated with toxic metals.

The report, previously deemed so sensitive it was classified as a state secret, names the heavy metals cadmium, nickel and arsenic as the top contaminants.

It adds to widespread doubts about the safety of China's farm produce and confirms suspicions about the dire state of its soil after more than two decades of explosive industrial growth, the overuse of farm chemicals and minimal environmental protection.

It also points to health risks that, in the case of heavy metals, can take decades to emerge after the first exposure. Already, health advocates have identified several "cancer villages" in China near factories suspected of polluting the environment where they say cancer rates are above the national average.

The soil survey was conducted from 2005 until last year, and showed contamination in 16.1 percent of China's soil overall and 19.4 percent of its arable land, according to a summary released late Thursday by China's Environmental Protection Ministry and its Land and Resources Ministry.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 total comments

HOTDEMN says... April 18, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.

They must not have any Commie Tree Huggers over there.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... April 18, 2014 at 12:43 p.m.

@ HOTDEMN Oh they do, they just have a tree planted over them.

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Jfish says... April 18, 2014 at 1:08 p.m.

This is another example of one of the impacts of overpopulation, something most countries and their politicians don't want to address. When did they agree to partner Po?

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GrimReaper says... April 18, 2014 at 2:09 p.m.

Well this could be the beginning of the solution for overpopulation in China. Much of our seafood is processed there and the Obama administration now says it's OK for our chicken to be processed there as well. But fear not, we can rely on the fact that our government has promised that it will always insure the safety of such food with the same faithfulness now demonstrated in meeting other responsibilities.......such as border integrity for example. I love my dog and will not give her any treat or food product from China.

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Reason says... April 18, 2014 at 8:56 p.m.

Somebody better yell. USA grown food goes wherever the money is.
How does that expensive imported beef taste?

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