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AKIPRESS.COM - China's environmental authorities have passed a plan to tackle soil pollution as the government becomes increasingly concerned about the risk to food posed by widespread contamination of farmland, The Star reported.
About 3.33 million hectares of China's farmland is too polluted for crops, a government official said in December, after decades of industrial development and poorly enforced laws allowed poisonous metals and discharge to seep into soil and water.
The plan, together with a soil pollution law in the drafting stage, is expected to focus on protecting food supplies and ensuring that contaminated crops do not enter the food chain.
China has time and again published policies and plans aimed at addressing environmental problems but it has long struggled to bring big polluting industries and growth-obsessed local governments to heel.
The top leadership is increasingly worried about the problem, with premier Li Keqiang declaring a “war on pollution” during his opening speech of parliament this month.
Meeting this week, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said cleaning up soil was a first priority for food safety and a fundamental basis for creating a healthy environment, according to a report published by the ministry's official newspaper on Wednesday.