Pollution Rising, Chinese Fear for Soil and Food

This takes place in Chenjiawan, China. Farming is a big part of trading in China. But, the fields are being negatively affected by factories and the irrigated water infested with industrial waste. People in China fear that the soil is in harm too. Even though they do not have scientific proof, they believe that a number of cancer deaths are linked to the high levels of pollution in China. The people are fearful of what is happening. The government has conducted widespread testing of soil across China in recent years, but it has not released the results yet. This adds to the anxiety of the Chinese people. An event that brought the attention of the Chinese people to this problem was in June. An official English- language newspaper, China Daily, published an editorial saying that “soil contaminated with heavy metals is eroding the foundation of the country’s food safety and becoming a looming public health hazard.” The government has refused to release details of the subject which worries farmers and consumers. The people of China believe that it is their right to know what is going on. Some scholars say that soil pollution is at high levels in Hunan Province, China’s rice bowl. This province is the leading polluter of cadmium, chromium, lead, and nonmetal arsenic according to this article. The central government of China has pressured this province to keep growing rice, but the article says”… rice production never gives you the same kind of G.D.P. growth that industrial development gives.” you.” Cadmium is a heavy metal that has been seeping into Hunan’s crops. It accumulates into the animal’s meal, and the rice. But, there is no public proof of any of this.

– Valerie Macaulay 2015


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