One-fifth of Chinese farmland is polluted, study says

Nearly one-fifth of China’s available farmland is polluted.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   April 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
BEIJING, April 18 (UPI) -- Nearly one-fifth of China’s available farmland is polluted, a government report said.

Issued Thursday by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land Resources, it said 16.1 percent of the country’s land was polluted, as was 19.4 percent of its farmland, citing “human industrial and agricultural activities” as the cause. The report was based on a study, from 2005 to 2013, on land across China.

China's rapid industrialization, a lack of regulations and a dominance of commercial interests were cited as the cause.

The most common pollutants are cadmium, nickel and arsenic, three materials whose presence in soil have risen sharply since 1986. The cadmium level in southwestern land increased by 50 percent since 1986, and southern Chinese soil is more severely polluted than that in the north, the report said.

It confirms fears that the quality of Chinese farmland is in decline, and follows a December 2013 news conference at which Wang Shiyuan, vice minister of land and resources, warned that eight million acres of Chinese farmland, an area the size of Maryland, were contaminated to the point farming should be stopped there.

[New York Times]

Follow @adamczyk_ed and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
Medal of Honor to be awarded to Civil War soldier
Colombia releases notorious hitman 'Popeye'
Firing range instructor shot by 9-year-old girl dies
U.S. military jet crash lands in rural Virginia
Bodies of missing family found in Oregon lake
Trending News