A quick health warning: be cautious of consuming rice in China.
A study has recently found that some 10 percent of rice sold in China is contaminated with cadmium – chemical that leads to softening of the bones and kidney failure.
This heavy metal was mostly detected in rice produced in southern parts of China including Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangdong provinces. This highlights a prominent but ongoing problem of Chinese soil being polluted with heavy metals discharged from massive mining operations and other industrial activities over the years.
Other chemical substances including lead have also been detected in rice, according to a study by Nanjing Agricultural University.
Dozens of residents in Sidi village, Yangshuo county, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where cadmium pollution is heavy, are suspected of having the symptoms of itai-itai disease, which is characterized by pain in the joints and the spine.
Statistics from the Guilin Institute of Technology showed that the level of cadmium was 1.005 milligrams in every kilogram of locally grown rice in 1986, five times the standard amount.
Thankfully I eat rice from Thailand…