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China Earth Medicine Technology

One Tenth of China's Farmland Polluted With Heavy Metals 412

Posted by samzenpus
from the progress-marches-on dept.
eldavojohn writes "A report form China's Environmental Ministry reveals that one tenth of China's 1.22 million square kilometers of farmland are polluted with heavy metals and other toxins. The AFP lists 'lead, mercury and cancer-causing cadmium' and points to the rapid pace of China's industrialization as well as factories and their operators flouting regulations and laws. Cheap batteries and lead refineries are slowly turning China into a land where whole villages are poisoned (11 incidents so far this year). According to Human Rights Watch the government's response to this scourge is laughable. The poisoned are denied treatment and China's Environmental Ministry offers no possible help: 'The report documents how local authorities in contaminated areas have imposed arbitrary limits on access to blood lead testing, for example by permitting only people living within a small radius of a factory to be tested. When tests are conducted, results have often been contradictory or have been withheld from victims and their families. And children with elevated blood lead levels who require treatment according to national guidelines have been denied care or told simply to eat certain foods, including apples, garlic, milk, and eggs.'"
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One Tenth of China's Farmland Polluted With Heavy Metals

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:30PM (#37974174)

    Heavy metal was everywhere back then.

    If you need to get rid of it, just bring in some grunge and hip-hop groups.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:32PM (#37974196)

    This sort of thing combined with Chinaâ(TM)s very questionable use of banned pesticides and other sketchy farming chemicals is why I do not by food products marked as being from China. I know that many of the other âoeready madeâ food that I eat probably has ingredients from China, but at least I can reduce the amount of poisons I intake. I try to buy local produce, organic when I can, but this tends to be a little spendy. And of course avoiding processed foods and actually making real food in the kitchen goes a long way to avoid the poisonous crap that China exports.

    Of course, there are some of the same issues here, but far far fewer.

    Without the kind of government regulation that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to do away with, this is how the United States would be as well.

    • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:37PM (#37974276)
      Your comment about regulation is nonsense, there is too much importation from China to inspect and regulate, it's impossible. And note we've already had numerous instances of food poisoning and heavy metal contamination in consumer products (found long after the fact of their being let in).

      I'd suggest a more sensible approach, don't do business with China at all. Let their system collapse. If the dollar devalues and forces us to become more self-sufficient, that's a good thing that will dramatically increase employment and internal economy.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:40PM (#37974348)

        Thats not the kind of regulation hes talking about. He didn't say anything about import regulation. He's talking about pollution and environmental regulation within the US that prevents our farmland from being poisoned with heavy metals. L2comprehend

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:57PM (#37974608)

          Yep.

          The sort of "Job Killing Regulation" the idiots of the Retardican party have been screaming about this year.

          When they talk about abolishing the EPA, I take one look at what goes on in China, remember that this is what the Republicans want to let happen in the USA, and I know why nobody who loves their kids should EVER vote Retardican.

      • by zill (1690130)

        there is too much importation from China to inspect and regulate, it's impossible.

        It's hard so let's just give up? Wow I gotta remember this excuse the next time I forgot to do my homework.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tmosley (996283)
        "Don't do business with China" is sort of like proposing "don't breathe" as a solution for air pollution.

        Do you have ANY IDEA how reliant we are on their manufacturing base? Do you have ANY IDEA the HELL that would come about in this country if we stopped trade with them? Any whatsoever?

        I'm not just talking about consumer gadgets either. I'm talking chemical feedstocks, electronics, machine components, and much, much more. Are you willing to pull the trigger that starts a trade war that ends with
      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:29PM (#37975112) Homepage Journal

        This ^

        Only a damned fool is going to buy stuff made in China. And, only a double damned fool is going to buy food products from China. FFS, did no one's parents teach them about QUALITY?!?!?! WTF are they teaching in home economics today?

        Ohhhh - let's say that you want some bottled water to take on a camping trip or something. Where can you learn whether one brand or another is better than the others? How 'bout a google search. Oh, wow, look what I found!

        http://www.ewg.org/reports/BottledWater/Bottled-Water-Quality-Investigation [ewg.org]

        Based on that one report alone, I'd probably be better off allowing the kids to drink from the streams where we camp. Crap, I can just boil the water, and have safer water than I can buy!

        Do you think anyone looks at reports like that though? Not only "NO!", but "HELL NO!" People are chumps. They buy that bottled water because some MARKEDROIDS told them to buy it!

        Americans are just chumps - no research, no comparison, nothing. Whatever is advertised on television is good enough for them. At the market, whichever brand is cheapest and/or comes in the prettiest package is good enough. DUHHHH.

        Hey - if you won't shop intelligently for yourself, or your children, maybe you'll at least treat your dog right.

        http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/dog-food-comparison.html [dogfoodscoop.com]

        Notice that some of the best known, and most expensive, brands of dog food are less nutritious than a shit sandwich. Some of the unknown and cheaper brands are actually pretty good. The cheapest brands are what you would expect - worthless. Give Fido something decent to eat, alright?

        • They buy that bottled water because some MARKEDROIDS told them to buy it!

          Sorry, no. Most bottled water sold is large generically branded stuff.

          The reason why people buy the bottled water is convenience. It's packaged to easily take with you. It has nothing to do with marketing, it's that it's easier than buying and filling your own leak-proof containers. Heck, even if you did buy and fill your own conners it turned out you were probably worse off with the BHP scare (though that was overdone).

          Lots of what

        • by s73v3r (963317)

          Only a damned fool is going to buy stuff made in China.

          So where'd you buy your computer from? How about the chips inside it?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TubeSteak (669689)

        Without the kind of government regulation that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to do away with, this is how the United States would be as well.

        Your comment about regulation is nonsense, there is too much importation from China to inspect and regulate, it's impossible.

        It seems like you've misunderstood the plain intent of his comment.
        Republicans and Tea Partiers want us to have about as much regulation as China does,
        which will inevitably lead to the same disastrous health and market failures.

        I'm not sure how you got from there to "regulate and inspect Chinese imports"

    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:40PM (#37974340) Homepage Journal

      This sort of thing combined with Chinaâ(TM)s very questionable use of banned pesticides and other sketchy farming chemicals is why I do not by food products marked as being from China. I know that many of the other âoeready madeâ food that I eat probably has ingredients from China, but at least I can reduce the amount of poisons I intake. I try to buy local produce, organic when I can, but this tends to be a little spendy. And of course avoiding processed foods and actually making real food in the kitchen goes a long way to avoid the poisonous crap that China exports.

      Of course, there are some of the same issues here, but far far fewer.

      Without the kind of government regulation that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to do away with, this is how the United States would be as well.

      It's scary and even regulations on labeling can't be imposed thanks, apparently, to the need to keep the government out of the way of business. According to the USDA, in 2007 50% of the apple juice consumed in the US came from China. That number is sure to increase.

      • by xaxa (988988)

        It's scary and even regulations on labeling can't be imposed thanks, apparently, to the need to keep the government out of the way of business. According to the USDA, in 2007 50% of the apple juice consumed in the US came from China. That number is sure to increase.

        Things I buy often say things like "contains Thai chicken", but I had a look at UK law and can't see where this is required. The best I can find is a proposed bill [parliament.uk] to change the law to require it to be said, but Parliament ran out of time to debate it.

        Does anyone know?

        (Actually, I very rarely buy the kind of processed food that would say "contains Thai chicken", but when I do, most of the time the origin of the meat is clear. Fresh fruit and vegetables in the supermarket generally say "Grown in Kenya" or

      • by cyfer2000 (548592)

        Based on this report (PDF) from USDA [usda.gov], "Apple juice imports from China totaled 420 million gallons in 2007, which was 60 percent of the U.S. supply. Industry reports suggest that the share of garlic imported from China exceeded 50 percent in 2007"

        But "Food imports from China as share of U.S. food supply" is 0.4%.

      • That is why I only consume stuff now from Colorado grown orchards. I KNOW that these came from here. The big labels are using China. That is also why I do not order apple juice out of any restaurant, and esp. NOTHING from California. California does not grow enough apple trees to produce and yet, they create a lot of apple juice. Can you say mercury? Sure you can.
    • under Soviet rule. You haven't seen environmental horrors until you see what they did under Soviet rule, where not only the people bend to the will of the government so will the land. Of how production results are all that mattered, not how it was done. Where you had rivers you could not walk next to. (some might point to Cleveland and such but we ain't holding a candle to some places I have seen over there).

      So, keep your derogatory and misinformed slights about the Tea Party and Republicans out of this, wh

      • by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:08PM (#37974776)
        The view that we need NO government regulation (e.g., get rid entirely of EPA and replace it with nothing) is roughly as stupid as saying that the government can fix anything, we just need to give it the power to do so (which does seem to be a very real viewpoint).
      • by jpapon (1877296) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:13PM (#37974852) Journal

        So, keep your derogatory and misinformed slights about the Tea Party and Republicans out of this, what you are witnessing is the same thing that happened under the Soviets in the 50s through 80s. You are witnessing so much government that it is not answerable to anyone.

        Exactly... when the people can't regulate what the government can do, you get into trouble (as in China, and in the USSR). The same is true of corporations though; when the people can't regulate corporations (through the government) you get into the same sort of trouble.

        The truth is that regulations were put into place for a reason; to protect people and the environment. They were put in place because industry was poisoning the earth... in spite of the "protections" of a free market. Removing regulations may have a positive impact in the short term (may, I have yet to see proof of this), but whatever benefit is far outweighed by the long term negative impact.

        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:31PM (#37975144)

          Removing regulations may have a positive impact in the short term (may, I have yet to see proof of this)

          You don't need proof, it's common-sense that they would have a positive impact. Removing regulations would allow corporations to save money on their bottom line, and then give giant bonuses to their executives. This is a positive impact. Are you one of those OWS hippies that thinks corporate executives shouldn't get $100million bonuses, even if it means poisoning everyone else? That's unAmerican. The only people who matter are the top 1%; everyone else needs to worship them and sacrifice so they can have more, it's the American Way.

          • That's how this pollution happens. They rake in all of the profit, but the expenses in environmental safety are left for everyone to pay.

            Simple capitalism: They can keep the profit it they also assume the expenses. Regulation is required only so far as to make sure they assume their rightful expenses, to keep things capitalist.

      • Aral Sea pollutes you!

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        You are no witnessing government, you are witnessing corpor/fascist state, the conjunction of corporations and autocratic government. In the Soviet era is was the police/autocratic state, where it was all about individuals gaining and maintaining power and everything else was subjugated to that.

        The psychopaths in charge of those corporation also have another objective in mind, the complete breaking down of the US labour market and the extinction of the middle class. A new three class structured America a

        • by MYakus (1625537) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:56PM (#37975482)

          "Draining the pond to catch the fish." That's how the Chinese refer to the current political and business environment in China. There isn't any long term view in China, it's all get what you can while you can. I've often wondered it was a matter of faith or ethics, those people were removed from the population during the Cultural Revolution. How do people in a society develop a long term view on things in an environment defined by Communist rule since 1949 and the millions where removed who were simply inconvenient to the ruling class?

          BTW, I don't believe that Sparta is a good model for a modern political or economic system. The tools that they used were relatively simple to manufacture and the gunmen are an inexpensive commodity in much of the world right now. China is short about 40 million girls due to the one child policy, so they have lots of expendable males.

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        So because a completely different system had too much government, the answer is to become like the other system that has destroyed the environment, which has no regulation?

        And no, our government is nowhere near close to what was going on under Soviet rule.

    • by Kagato (116051) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:56PM (#37974586)

      One of the interesting aspects of globalization is a lot of restaurant food (Mostly Asian for now) is starting to come from china. There's no disclosure requirements there. Makes one think twice before heading off to the low cost Chinese buffet.

      I would also say, don't assume organics gets you out of dodgy Chinese agricultural goods. At one point Whole Foods was sourcing their frozen "Organic" vegetables from China. An acquaintance of mine with USDA out of Beijing mission finds that extremely laughable. Since it's their job to visit farms and see the conditions they won't eat any of the food in China. Everything they eat is imported from US or Europe.

    • by ArcherB (796902)

      This sort of thing combined with Chinaâ(TM)s very questionable use of banned pesticides and other sketchy farming chemicals is why I do not by food products marked as being from China. I know that many of the other âoeready madeâ food that I eat probably has ingredients from China, but at least I can reduce the amount of poisons I intake. I try to buy local produce, organic when I can, but this tends to be a little spendy. And of course avoiding processed foods and actually making real food in the kitchen goes a long way to avoid the poisonous crap that China exports.

      Of course, there are some of the same issues here, but far far fewer.

      Without the kind of government regulation that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to do away with, this is how the United States would be as well.

      Um... yeah! Because China is the right-wing "city on the hill" that all "teabaggers" wish to emulate.

      Actually, what TEA Party members want is less government power. The example you ares seeing in China is fine example of why less government is a good idea. See, the all-powerful government that leftists like you want allows a government to set up all the regulations required to keep a population safe from those evil capitalist pigs. Unfortunately, it includes government power to choose who to apply those

      • Indeed, what people are blind to in this matter is that China is demonstrating what happens when government is doing everything. People are so ignorant they think there are no environmental regulations in China, but China has regulations and equivalent of the EPA (even mentioned in the summary, the Environmental Ministry).

        The problem is that because China's industries are still significantly state-owned there is an insurmountable conflict of interest. The state is effectively asked to prosecute itself,
        • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Monday November 07, 2011 @02:10PM (#37975668)

          It's what happens when government is in concert with corporation - in China, many of the top corporations are, as you point out, effectively state owned.

          Here in the West, it's the other way around ; the government is in large part, owned in influence by the corporations. Happily, some part of it remains in public hands.

          I don't think your expressed desire for less government is unreasonable from the idealistic point of view, but this is not tenable in real life. Really, I suspect the majority of powerful people who express a wish for less government really mean - "less of the kind of government that gets in my way". I suspect they are not opposed to more of the kind of government that supports them by bailing out their banks, spending tax money on war materiel, and passing laws that continuously erode the original spirit of collective bargains like copyright and patents. Even the Tea Party doesn't put its money where its mouth is, and keeps its cash in a bailed-out bank [thinkprogress.org].

          Much of the the West is currently governed by the right wing ; well, China is the furthest end of right wing and has probably always been so - one mighty corporation in all but name. They have much less government than the West, and the common man is much worse off.

        • by St.Creed (853824)

          Let's turn this around: if the state is the corporations, then are the corporations not the state?

          "If we take Moscow," he said, "with its 4,700 Communists in responsible positions, and if we take the huge bureaucratic machine, that gigantic heap, we must ask: who is directing whom? I doubt very much whether it can be truthfully said that the Communists are directing that heap. To tell the truth, they are not directing, they are being directed." - Lenin

          In other words, it wouldn't be the first time that this would happen.

          I think the Chinese bureaucrats are quite numerous, but not as big as the corporations. Often, they *are* the corporations. So who is doing exactly what? To separate government and companies in this case is silly: it's not a question of big government, or big oil, or big banking: it's a question of an entire layer of people organizing a state

    • Without the kind of government regulation that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to do away with, this is how the United States would be as well.

      One of the most idiotic partisan debates in the US is whether regulation is 'good' or 'bad.' There is no disagreement that causes dumbness on both sides. Both sides are wrong. Regulation is neither bad nor good by itself, it depends in great measure what regulation is in consideration. Some regulation is clearly good, some regulation is clearly bad. If you want to know, you have to investigate the particular regulation and consider whether it is good or bad. But go ahead, jump to your party line, it will ke

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Artraze (600366)

      > Without the kind of government regulation that the Republicans and Tea Baggers want to do away
      > with, this is how the United States would be as well.

      There's no nice way of putting this: You are retarded and whoever modded this nonsense "insightful" should be denied mod points indefinitely.

      This comment is nothing but baseless bashing of 'them' without any thought at all. You don't even have a pretense of understanding the Republican or Tea Party (real mature BTW) points. Has it never occurred to y

      • by Microlith (54737) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:53PM (#37975430)

        Has it never occurred to you that there's a middle ground between where we are and no regulation at all?

        You assert we are at the extreme end of regulation?

        Or that one can go about regulation differently?

        One can always do things differently, but whether it is still effective is what matters.

        Or, geez, that even if there was _no_ regulation how public outcry from everyone would still provide a good deal of incentive to not do it? Not that I'd rely on that, but still we wouldn't be half as bad as China.

        We'd probably end up like China, or at least like we were in the early to middle part of the last century (can you say "superfund"), real quick. And people would die needlessly before the uproar was enough to drive them out of business or, as is the policy these days, they sell their assets to a new company and the shell goes under.

        I've heard nothing out of the likes of Bachmann, Perry, or Cain that suggest they have some plan for alternate forms of less intrusive regulation while still protecting the environment. Instead, they seem to desire to tear down regulations and environmental protections wholesale, for the sake of "jobs" and as in Cain's case the Koch Brothers who are, in his own words, his "brothers from another mother." Yeah. I think we know where his loyalties lie.

      • by bmo (77928) on Monday November 07, 2011 @02:29PM (#37975918)

        >There's no nice way of putting this: You are retarded and whoever modded this nonsense "insightful" should be denied mod points indefinitely.

        There is no nice way of putting this but you, yourself, are delusional if you think the Republicans and the John Birch Society in drag (tea party) want anything less than burning rivers and brain addled lead paint chewing children, which got us the regulation in the first place.

        If you are a slavering Dominionst (which Dominionism is rampant in the Republican party these days, wot, with their prayer breakfasts and whatnot) you believe the end of the world is nigh, raping the planet is nothing compared to the raining blood and plagues which are to come shortly. If you believe the end of the world is coming, the least of your worries is preserving it.

        The only reasonable candidate that isn't a Dominionist or Bircher is Huntsman, and he's toast. This is what you get when you chase all the reasonable people out of your party.

        That's the truth, and to deny it is to deny reality. QED.

        --
        BMO

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Sorry, but this is a valid partisan issue. If you are saying there would probably still be some environmental protection under Tea Party rule, then technically you are right. But if you are claiming it wouldn't be hugely destructive setback to the environment, then you are flat out wrong [nytimes.com].

        Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota wants to padlock the E.P.A.â(TM)s doors, as does former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas wants to impose an immediate moratorium on environmental regulation

    • You do know that China is the model that Obama Administration members have repeatedly held up of how they would like to do things don't you?
  • Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarkvW (1037596) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:39PM (#37974318)

    Look for Chinese labor movements. The Poles were able to do it in the face of oppression. Maybe the Chinese can also.

    And to think some working men think unions are a bad thing.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      The only reason the Poles were able to do it is because they were getting money and help from the CIA (ironically, even as the same administration was fighting against unions at home).

    • by tmosley (996283)
      Unions are valid gatherings of people. Unions in this nation, however, have degenerated to a sort of mafia, that forces people to join, uses their influence to corrupt government and legal structures, and basically become bloated parasites, all while citing instances of abuse from a hundred years ago or more.

      Yes, China needs unions, but not for long. Already, working conditions are greatly improving. Instances of (real) slave labor have all but disappeared. Pay is rising. These are natural processes
    • by khallow (566160)

      And to think some working men think unions are a bad thing.

      It depends wholly on what those unions do. If they're freeing workers from an oppressive government, that's good. If they're just implementing a vote buying scheme (which is what most, if not all, public sector unions do in democratic societies), then that is bad.

      But who cares about details, right?

    • Technically, the communist government IS a labor movement........
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:41PM (#37974364) Homepage

    China doesn't care what anybody else thinks, we can't realistically threaten to boycott them (what are you reading this on, and where was it made?) and they essentially control the dollar and are making big inroads into the Euro as well.

    This is a domestic Chinese problem, and it will be solved when the people of China decide to deal with their government one way or another. Until then all we can do is wring our hands and cry "Oh, the seething hordes of yellow sort-of-humanity! Oooh, new iPads!"

    • by El Torico (732160)

      This is a domestic Chinese problem, and it will be solved when the people of China decide to deal with their government one way or another.

      I wonder when the Chinese people will remember this quote? "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." - Mao Tse-Tung

    • This is a domestic Chinese problem, and it will be solved when the people of China decide to deal with their government one way or another.

      Hardly a domestic Chinese problem. A number of foods in my grocery store -- particularly spices and fish -- are labeled "Product of China".

      I'm not "boycotting" their food to get them to change their ways, but for somewhat more personal reasons.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Or when the government decides it's serious enough to deal with, or when low level officials stop taking bribes. The people in china are part of the pervasive corruption, not the solution.

      Like most developing countries, it's not china's laws that are the problem. It's the fact that an envelope full of money will make the law disappear.

      Sure, in the US it's the same way, but the amount of money required is extraordinary. In the US (and the EU and canada) you pay off members of parliament, congress, the sena

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:26PM (#37975068)

      Do you mean my computer or monitor? My monitor was largely made in Korea. It is an LG Displays IPS panel, which are made in Korea. The electronics were made in Japan. final assembly was done in China but could easily be done elsewhere.

      The computer is made from parts all over the place, few from China. The power supply is the only component I can think of that was made in China. The CPU was fabbed in the US, packaged in Costa Rica. The SSDs were made in the US, the HDDs in Malaysia. The memory was made in Taiwan. The graphics card was fabbed in Taiwan, assembled in the US. Final assembly of the system was done in the US since I put the thing together myself.

      I'm not trying to argue that China isn't a massive producer of goods but please let's stop the stupidity of "China makes everything the US makes nothing!" Computers are largely NOT made in China.

  • one tenth of China's 1.22 million square kilometers of farmland are polluted with heavy metals and other toxins

    Ah, that explains why food has begun to appear at my local store from China. I knew it couldn't be any good, just wondered about the details.

    Vermont Village Organic applesauce is "canned" (is fruitcupped a verb?) in Barre, Vermont, according to the label on my desk (guess what I'm eating for lunch today?). Not sure where they're grown, Vermont is so small it probably only has like two trees. The fact they don't say where they're grown is disturbing.

    Generic/big corporate apple fruit cups are proudly label

  • by Verdatum (1257828) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:48PM (#37974460)
    Do you know that the average Chinese farm contains more mercury than a rectal thermometer? Would you EAT a rectal thermometer? Well I would. Ah, mercury, sweetest of the transition metals.
    • Do you know that the average Chinese farm contains more mercury than a rectal thermometer? Would you EAT a rectal thermometer? Well I would. Ah, mercury, sweetest of the transition metals.

      Would you (could you possibly) eat and entire Chinese farm? Would you be hungry and hour later?

    • by tmosley (996283)
      Would you eat a farm?
  • The U.S. is better? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "The poisoned are denied treatment and China's Environmental Ministry offers no possible help."

    Dude, I HAVE HEAVY METALS POISONING. I've been in chelation therapy for 14 years and NOBODY does anything to help. Check Medicare, Medicade, any insurance company and you will see that support for heavy metals poisoning is nowhere to be found. Ask your doctor to do a simple RBC minerals assay to check for heavy metals and watch the blank expression on his face in reaction. I'm doing my therapy all on my own.

    Heavy

    • by tmosley (996283)
      Take active selenium (nonmethylated). Selenium forms an insoluble salt with many heavy metals, including arsenic and mercury, which is the reason high metal content in fish doesn't cause toxicity either to fish themselves or to those who eat a great deal of fish.
  • Apple Juice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tighe_L (642122) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:58PM (#37974624) Homepage
    Almost all the apple juice sold in the United States has some concentrate from China. And SO many people give apple juice to their children. Also apple juice concentrate is used to sweeten other beverages "naturally" like cranberry and lemonade and fruit punch. Fortunately Ocean Spray recently switched to using cane and beat sugar to sweeten their cranberry juice. They previously used high fructose corn syrup which can contain mercury depending on how it is manufactured.
  • I have been wondering about the safety of the Mandarin Oranges I have been buying (in cups) at the grocery store. They say product of China right on the package (regardless of whether they are name-brand or store-brand); maybe I'll switch to pears and/or peaches instead.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      Why "maybe", when you do not need them?

      • Why "maybe", when you do not need them?

        Hey you just never know. I live in the middle of the continent, I could come down with scurvy and need vitamin C urgently!

        Though really, I just buy them because they are convenient. Fruit cups have a shelf life that is almost on par with canned vegetables.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:02PM (#37974672)

    Maybe:
    - stick with your current phone for 4 years?
    - skip your next computer upgrade for 5 years?
    - settle on a 24" LCD instead of the 92" plasma? ..Not a chance

    It's disturbing that we've put our own neck in the noose but just keep tightening the rope.

  • These wild environmental accusations are just malicious rumors spawned by outside interests.

    The Chinese government is handling the problem as outlined here: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/10/26/1924201/china-detains-internet-users-for-spreading-rumors [slashdot.org]

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:03PM (#37974694) Journal
    China has no pollution controls installed AND RUNNING. They purposely disable pollution controls contrary to their agree with Japan.
  • by msobkow (48369) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:06PM (#37974744) Homepage Journal

    I blame offshoring of manufacturing services. Offshoring has proven a boon to industries that wish to export their toxic manufacturing processes and slave-labour "wages" to foreign countries. Can you think of any cases where the "cheap" manufacturing wasn't accompanied by lax employee and environmental safety regulations?

    • Good points. But you should blame the large box stores as well. They continue to push that nightmare. In fact, Walmart, target, K-ZMart are NOTORIOUS for 'buying' American goods and then simply not paying. They really want to deal with a relatively small number of Chinese manufacturers that are partially owned by Americans, who then steal American ideas.
  • by Freedom Bug (86180) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:12PM (#37974826) Homepage

    Paradoxically, the answer is more industrialization, not less. History shows that pollution reaches a maximum for a country around when GDP per head reaches about $10,000. Below that number, citizens care more about the fundamental basic needs, and would rather have more money than a cleaner environment. As the citizenry gets richer, they start to care more about the environment they live in and demand that their government does something about it, and are willing to sacrifice some income to achieve it.

    Luckily, China can take advantage of technological process, and will likely never be as bad as countries that industrialized earlier. No place ever has been or ever will be as polluted as London was in the late 1800s.

  • If only China were capitalist, the Invisible Hand would take care of those poisoned people right snappy.

    or maybe...

  • by Tailhook (98486) on Monday November 07, 2011 @02:48PM (#37976134)

    It's nice to see people in the West finally discussing this. Has it become, at long last, no longer be possible to exempt China (and others) from Kyoto with a straight face?

    This conversation has been a long time coming.

    Erecting domestic regulatory regimes while exporting our industrial base and its pollution to Asia is hypocritical. We have a moral obligation to correct this. Another consequence of this hypocrisy is a rapidly widening wealth gap between our now surplus working class and everyone else. We have a fiscal imperative to correct this, one you can observe [youtube.com] at the Port of Oakland right now. Cheap, plentiful imports flooding mega-stores with shiny disposable stuff has created an ugly consumer culture. We have a cultural need to correct this. The Asian escape valve has permitted us to indulge NIMBY-ism via our bureaucracies and the abuse or our civil law by pressure groups. We're all going to have to grow up a bit to correct this.

  • by anarkhos (209172) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:20PM (#37977164)

    While commercial properties have been privatized farmland is still communal, so who can claim damages?

    This situation won't improve until the Chinese reject authoritarianism and demand a free society.

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