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8 Million Acres of China’s Farmland Too Polluted To Grow Food

8 Million Acres of China’s Farmland Too Polluted To Grow Food

More than 8 million acres of farmland in China is so highly polluted that it is too contaminated to grow crops! This was just reported by Wang Shiyuan, deputy minister of the Ministry of Land and Resources. Even higher pollution estimates — up to 60 million acres — are speculated by some scientists.

How did it happen?

Farmers used heavy metals (lead and cadmium) and other chemicals to grow food, a Cabinet official said.  Also, there has been a heavy use of farm chemicals along with very lax environmental enforcement by the country.

The reason the toxicity went unnoticed? Partly because officials have their hands full with smog and water contamination.

Disturbingly, the government would not release the results of a nationwide survey of soil pollution, stating the information was a state secret.

A dangerous level of cadmium was found by inspectors in the rice grown in Henan, a major heavy metal-producing region.  Cadmium is a carcinogenic metal that can cause kidney damage and other health problems.

China, wanting to grow as much food as possible from its land, has put thousands of farms close to chemical plants, mines and other heavy metal industries. This, of course, has increased contamination.

What is China doing to remedy this huge problem?

Farmers across China are now prohibited from growing food for human consumption in areas considered highly polluted. Wang said the government was determined to prevent toxic metals entering the food chain.

  1. The Communist Party has a five-year plan, promising to reduce heavy metal pollution and clean up contaminated areas.
  2. The government is working on a long-range plan and expects to spend several tens of billions of yuan (several billion dollars) a year on the effort according to Wang.
  3. Scientists say one approach could be to plant trees and other vegetation to absorb heavy metals.

Apparently this has been going on a very long time as a land survey revealed traces of toxic metals dating back a century. Researchers say that as much as 70 percent of China’s soil could have problems.

Our food and farmland can be safe if we make healthy choices.

This is one more reason to eat organic whenever possible. I always eat the dirty dozen organic, and I try to grow as much of my own food as possible in my tiny little garden.

I also support the local farmers as much as I can.

What do YOU do to keep your own, and the world’s food safe?

Top 10 Eco-Friendly Reasons to Buy Organic Meat & Dairy
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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Environment, Food, Green, News & Issues, , , , , ,

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


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11:45AM PDT on Oct 19, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

1:36AM PDT on Oct 11, 2014

Thank you!

1:45PM PST on Jan 12, 2014

wow thanks for bringing this to our attention!

1:24AM PST on Jan 11, 2014


8:21AM PST on Jan 8, 2014

too, too horrible. I hope this doesn't mean another China-wide famine.

9:52AM PST on Jan 6, 2014

not good, tks

7:18PM PST on Jan 5, 2014


9:44PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

sad, very sad.

9:09PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Very sad

3:41PM PST on Jan 4, 2014

Pretty soon China is just going to poison their own people with the contaminated foods and contaminated air and then they will, hopefully, change their environmental regulations.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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