Report: Lasting damage to China's soil

Report: Lasting damage to China's soil

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China's soil is highly contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides misused during the country's push to increase agricultural yields some 30 years earlier, Reuters reported, citing a top environmental official. By some estimates, up to 70% of the country's soil is contaminated, much of it by farmers overusing fertilizers that led to several years of bumper harvests but also allegedly a high rate of birth defects and cancer. Now-banned pesticides and even heavy metals deposited a century ago also contribute to the risk. Years of bumper grain harvests have come at a cost, said Zhuang Guotai, the new head of the Ministry of Environmental Protection's ecological department.