Pollution in China has damaged 10 million hectares…or
one tenth…of the country's arable land, said the country's
environment watchdog Tuesday as it called for an expansion of
grass-roots monitoring in rural areas.
China faces severe soil
pollution problems which jeopardize the ecology, food safety, the
health of people and the sustainable development of agriculture,
according to the State Environmental Protection Administration
It’s estimated that each year 12 million tons of grain
are contaminated by heavy metals in the soil. This causes direct
economic losses of more than 20 billion yuan (around US$2.5
billion), the SEPA said.
Irrigated sewage, scrap metal and acid rain are all
blamed for contaminated crops. China has about 120 million hectares
of arable land. This is 13 percent of the country’s total land
And despite the efforts of SEPA's 160,000
environmental officials the overall picture shows little
encouragement for optimism. Prevention is weak especially in rural
areas and currently there’s no legislation covering soil and
poultry raising pollution.
Though over one million factories in the country are
generating pollution there are only 50,000 environmental monitoring
and inspection personnel at various levels, the SEPA
(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2006)