China's Next Environmental Disaster: Polluted Soil

China's horrendously polluted air has made international headlines of late. Though its extents are less obvious, the country's mounting soil pollution crisis carries equally serious ramifications.
January 2, 2014, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"With awareness of China’s severe environmental degradation rising, there has been a surge of anxiety in the last year among ordinary Chinese and some officials over soil pollution in the country’s agricultural centers and the potential effects on the food chain," reports Edward Wong. "In recent years, the government has conducted widespread testing of soil across China, but it has not released the results, adding to the fear and making it more difficult for most Chinese to judge what they eat and pinpoint the offending factories."

“'We think it’s always the right of the public to know how bad the situation is,' said Ma Tianjie, an advocate at Greenpeace East Asia who is researching toxic soil. 'The Chinese public can accept the fact that our environment is polluted. The important thing is to give them the means to challenge polluters and improve the environment, and not just keep them in the dark.'”

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Published on Monday, December 30, 2013 in The New York Times
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