'Heavy Metals Pollute A Tenth Of China's Farmland -- Report'

'About one tenth of China's farmland is polluted by lead, zinc and other heavy metals to 'striking' levels exceeding official limits, a government expert said according to reports on Monday.'

'Wan Bentai, the chief engineer for China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, said a survey of soil pollutants this year found heavy metal from smelter chimneys, water run-off and tailings meant 'in total about 10 percent of farmland has striking problems of heavy metal levels exceeding (government) limits,' the Southern Metropolitan Daily reported.

'In recent years, there have constantly been outbreaks of heavy metal pollution, and from January to February alone there were 11 incidents, nine involving lead,' Wan told a meeting in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in south China, according to the report.'

Chris Buckley reports for Reuters November 8, 2011.

Source: Reuters, 11/08/2011