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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 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 Shivetya (243324) on Monday November 07, 2011 @12:51PM (#37974500) Homepage Journal

    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, 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.

    Let me give you a hint, our government is close to that now, the only difference is not so much environmental impact but the damage it is doing to our society.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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?

  • by Medievalist (16032) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:51PM (#37975408)

    Their government doesn't have to compromise or reach consensus between ruling parties with vastly differing ideologies and goals.

    Neither does ours. However, our government does have to reach consensus between 437 individual points of graft, corruption, incompetence and greed. Which takes a lot of work, especially with that incompetence thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @03:27PM (#37976540)
    Vote republican! Save us from the authoritarian nanny state by installing a theocracy!

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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