8 Million Acres of China Farmland Too Polluted To Grow Food

farmer spraying field

More than 8 million acres of farmland in China is so highly polluted that it is too contaminated to grow crops! This was just reported by Wang Shiyuan, deputy minister of the Ministry of Land and Resources.  There are higher estimates of as much as 60 million acres according to some scientists.

How did it happen? 

Farmers used heavy metals (lead, cadmium) and other chemicals to grow food, a Cabinet official said.  Also, there has been a heavy use of farm chemicals along with very lax environmental enforcement by the country.


Part of the reason that it has not been noticed is that there has been high concern about the smog and water contamination.

Another disturbing thing was how the government would not release the results of a survey nationwide of soil pollution, saying they were a state secret.


A dangerous level of cadmium was found by inspectors in the rice grown in Henan, a major heavy metal-producing region this year.  Cadmium is a carcinogenic metal that can cause kidney damage and other health problems.

China, wanting to grow as much food as possible from its land, has put thousands of farms close to chemical plants, mines and other heavy industries which of course has raised contamination.

chinese rice field

What is China doing to remedy this huge problem?

Farmers are right now being prohibited from growing food for human consumption in areas considered highly polluted all across China. Wang said the government was determined to prevent toxic metals entering the food chain.

  1. The Communist Party’s has a five-year plan, promising to reduce heavy metal pollution and clean up contaminated areas.
  2. The government is working on a long-range plan and expects to spend several tens of billions of yuan (several billion dollars) a year on the effort according to Wang.
  3. Scientists say one approach could be to plant trees and other vegetation to absorb heavy metals.

Apparently this has been going on a very long time as a land survey revealed traces of toxic metals dating back a century. Researchers have said that as much as 70 per cent of China’s soil could have problems.


This is one more reason to eat organic whenever possible. I always eat the dirty dozen organic and I try to grow as much of my own food as possible in my tiny little garden.

I also support the local farmers as much as I  can, but being in Canada’s with its short  growing season, this particular avenue is limited for me.

What do YOU do to keep your own, and the world’s food safe?


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Diana Herrington

Diana has been writing about natural health and wellness for over 20 years. Having used foods to heal her own body, she now shares her wisdom with others.

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  1. At least China is doing something to put a stop to the contaminated farmland problem, their 5 year plan is a good start. In the US, GMO food is rampant and the government is doing nothing to stop it, as far as I know. The only thing being done is people in the know who buy organic and support organic farming. But really, Monsanto ought to be shut down in concern for public welfare! I imagine that will not be happening anytime soon, very sad that our government has been less than pro-active in stopping this company from producing and introducing such harmful products into our food supply.

  2. Hi Judy, their 5 year plan is a good start. What they did is let the high amount of heavy metals get right out of control so that people are getting sick due to this.
    I am totally against GMO See these 2 articles here: https://www.realfoodforlife.com/monsanto-vs-mother-earth-2/
    We need to stop them ASAP!
    Truth is that China will probably end up being a shining example of healthy farming. Let’s hope that happens to be an inspiration to the rest of the world.

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