Chinese farm with skull and bones

If you’re thinking of saving some bucks and picking up some canned food grown in China, consider this startling piece of news. In a report, earlier labeled a “state secret”, the Chinese government recently announced that 20% of the country’s farmland is heavily polluted. As in loaded with cadmium, nickel and arsenic.

Additionally, thanks to years of super-fast industrialization and agricultural practices utilizing poisonous pesticides with zero concern for the consequences or environment, at least 10% of woodland in China and 10.4% of its’ grassland soil are also polluted. After eight years of taking soil samples from 630 square kilometers, the report declared, “The overall condition of the Chinese soil allows no optimism.”

Coming from a government known for suppressing sensitive information that could even hint at being a threat to the country’s “stability”, this admission is surprising and unprecedented.

Not surprisingly, Readers posting comments on this story voiced suspicions that the traditionally closed-mouth Chinese communist party probably wasn’t telling the complete story. If China was admitting that 20% of the farmland soil was polluted, chances are the true number was far higher.

What can’t be questioned though, is the sad truth that soil pollution is more serious and difficult to turn around than air or water pollution. Remedies take far more resources  and a longer time to be effective.

Beyond impacting crops, soil pollution is extremely hazardous for people living in those areas, having to breath in and experience skin contact with  pollutants.

Still further, soil pollutants are likely to flow into underground layers and contaminate drinking water.

From the sound of things, food imported from China won’t exactly be enjoying a healthy market for who knows how long.


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