Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Metallic Rice

Simple sugars are bad for you which is why I'm drastically cutting back on white rice, bread and fruit juices. I can't pass up a good dessert though.
But now I have more of a reason not to eat rice -- a survey has found that at least 10 percent of rice samples from various Chinese provinces have shown to contain excessive amounts of cadmium, a heavy metal that can cause bone problems if you consume too much.
And this affects Hong Kong because 12.8 percent of its rice imports come from the mainland. It is not known if the rice imported has excessive amounts of cadmium. Hong Kong gets two-thirds of its rice from Thailand.

Professor Pan Genxing of Nanjing Agricultural Resources and Environmental Institute tested more than 100 rice samples bought from markets in six regions in 2007. They found 10 percent of them had higher levels of cadmium than the national standard.

The test was repeated the following year on 63 samples from Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangdong, and found 60 percent of them contained too much cadmium.

The researchers believe soil pollution is to blame due to intense industrialization. And rice easily absorbs cadmium because of its genetic traits -- if planted in acidic soil or hybrid rice are more susceptible to absorbing more heavy metals.

Currently China's food safety rules state the caps for heavy metals per kilogram of rice is 0.2mg of cadmium, 0.3mg of lead and 0.3mg of arsenic.

Other experts blame Chinese farmers' overuse of fertilizers and pesticides for resulting in the high rates of heavy metals in rice. "About 25 to 35 percent of these chemical materials are absorbed by agricultural products, with the rest either staying in the soil to make it become more acidic or clotted, or flowing to pollute nearby rivers," said Pan Wenjing, director of the food and agriculture team with Greenpeace Beijing.

Frightening, isn't it?

After the tainted milk and toothpaste, fake eggs and sea moss, now it's rice.

What's left to safely eat in China now?


1 comment:

  1. too bad china lacks a standardization of her food stuff and everything else.