15 February 2010

Chinese farms cause more pollution than factories, says official survey

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Groundbreaking government survey pinpoints fertilisers and pesticides as greater source of water contamination

Farmers' fields are a bigger source of water contamination in China than factory effluent, the Chinese government revealed today in its first census on pollution.

The release of the groundbreaking report was reportedly delayed by resistance from the agriculture ministry, which had previously insisted that farms contributed only a tiny fraction of pollution in China.

The census disproves these claims completely. According to the study, agriculture is responsible for 43.7% of the nation's chemical oxygen demand (the main measure of organic compounds in water), 67% of phosphorus and 57% of nitrogen discharges.

(guardian.co.uk)

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