China’s cadmium-laced rice crisis: 10% commercial rice was contaminated by cadmium

commercial rice was contaminated by cadmium

In 2011, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced “Integrated pollution prevention and control of heavy metals ‘second five year’ plan’ in which 14 provinces as key governance provinces include the Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai.


The shadow of the “cadmium-laced rice” crisis happened last month has not been eliminated still, the heavy metal pollution problems surfaced. Land and Resources released news this week that China is drawing the heavy metal pollution map. Study said that China’s current area under ​​heavy metal pollution in densely populated eastern China has been significantly expanded.


A “secret” survey


In 2006, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land and organized a nationwide soil pollution survey program in which monitoring personnel of environmental monitoring stations were required to use GPS, and sampled in grid in strict accordance with the 4 × 4 square kilometers.


At the end of 2008, 213754 agricultural and other types of samples were collected from the national soil, 4.95 million valid survey data were obtained, based on which the country’s soil pollution survey database and sample libraries are built.


In 2009, the general report and special reports including 12 pilot projects, 18 research reports and 7 draft guidelines of remediation technologies for contaminated soil were prepared. However, this investigation which cost up to 10 billion has not been made public.


In 2013, Beijing lawyer Dong Zhengwei submitted FOI request to the Ministry of Environmental Protection to disclose the national soil pollution survey data to the public. But Ministry of Environmental Protection declined to disclose the data with the excuse of “state secret”.


Some general and terrible data


Land and Natural Resources once said publicly that China has 12 million tons of food each year under heavy metal contamination, direct economic losses amounted more than $ 20 billion.  The food is enough food to feed 40 million people per year.


Xinhua News Agency reported that from 2009 to 2012, China had more than 30 major heavy metal pollution incidents.


In 2010, a study jointly held by China National Rice Research Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rice Product Quality Supervision and Testing Center said that 1/5 of the land in China was under the heavy metal pollution.


Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research fellow Chen Bin estimated, that about 10% more of China’s arable land was contaminated by heavy metals.


Official data show that 28,000 hectares of land in Hunan province was under heavy metal contamination​​, accounting for 13% of the total area of ​​the province.

Source: Southern Metropolis Daily

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