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China's Food Staple, Rice, Is Toxic

Updated on May 27, 2013
A rice field
A rice field

Sometimes, the problem is too big to control because there are too many involved to control. In China, even though it is not a free democracy, people have free will to some extent. The government may control who is elected to steer the country, people, in their daily life, can make their own decisions. While the government can block Internet content that could influence its population, influence still seeps in.

China, with billions of people, is like an unwieldy animal. Its government can only impose so much control on the individual. This is reflected in their environmental horrors that continue to be exposed or discovered. Earlier this year, 16,000 dead pigs were found floating in Shanghai's water supply for no obvious reason. Then, millions of fish along its southern coastal waters were found dead because of raw pollution fed into the ocean from China's filthy rivers. Even after water is cleaned, the pipes it moved through to the tap are contaminated, just don't drink the water unless you boil it. Of course, China is famous for its gross air pollution that is 200 times what the US EPA states are safe levels for humans and far worse than any American city.

Now, another catastrophe- China's rice bowl is toxic.Rice is China's staple food for billions daily. Think of the amount that must be harvested to do this- staggering. So, when China's Drug and Food Administration conducted tests from various rice fields,the tests revealed that 44% of the samples were contaminated with cadmium, a heavy metal that causes various forms of cancer. China has another public health crisis. Unfortunately, the government found out too late and some of the rice is already being sold to consumers.

But the discovery was made in January, when officials discovered that seven companies had been dumping 20 tons of cadmium into the Longjiang River that feeds major rice fields. Fish farms died and the water to three million was turned off in Liuzhou City. The government then covered up the discovery for a week, the companies were fined. Yet, Chinese heavy industry continues discharging untreated wastewater into the rivers that people use. Rice is still sold, even though contaminated because the government does not want to pay for their crops or relocation.

Another source of the pollution are phosphates used in farming. China uses large amounts of it to meet their goal of being 95% self sufficient in food. Yet, controlling them is nearly exempt or so lax, there is no regulation. The phosphates all eventually end up in the rivers and rice fields and they also contain some cadmium. Since the cost to remove it is too costly, it is not done. The government awards farms to over use phosphates to grow more food, yet, the food they eat is contaminated.

China is a very heavily regulated and corrupt place. Manufacturers and businesses are more than willing to collude to keep getting rich at the public's expense. That is China today. Its water, air, and food are a danger to its own people.


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    • profile image

      Xin 4 years ago

      @ Ingenira

      "What can I eat there ?"

      Coca-cola and Chinese schlong.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      You'll just have to take your chances.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 4 years ago

      I wonder when will China wake up from all these inhumane practice.

      I am thinking thrice about travelling to China now. What can I eat there ?

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      Sadly, that is true all over!

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 4 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      There's something very wrong when money makes people kill or harm others in order to save money.Even at the cost of even their own health.