After ‘Cadmium Rice,’ now ‘Lead’ and ‘Arsenic Rice’
By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW, http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com
Soil in China’s leading rice-producing region shows high levels of heavy metal contamination, in a study that suggests that the proximity of mining and industry to agricultural areas is posing serious threats to the country’s food chain.
In “Cadmium Rice: Heavy metal pollution of China’s rice crops,” researchers for Greenpeace East Asia sampled farmland and uncultivated soil, water and rice grown near a smelter of non-ferrous metals in Hunan Province, China’s top rice producer.
In some locations of the study, the researchers found soil containing cadmium levels more than 200 times the national health standard, adding to a growing body of evidence that parts of the country’s soil are heavily degraded after decades of fast industrialization and high economic growth. All but one of the rice samples exceeded the maximum level of cadmium in rice for human consumption in China. Read more