Sunday, December 30, 2012

Concerns that using household rubbish as fertiliser may have adverse effect on crops

Farmers have been rapped in southern China after they were caught using household rubbish to fertilise crops. Farms pay just £20 per truckload for waste from the local tip, which often includes old batteries, plastics and discarded oil and chemicals, say health watchdogs in Jinshan, in Guangdong province.

"There will be lots of good compost like food waste, but there are also batteries leaking poisons like mercury, babies nappies, human waste and even human parts from the local hospital sometimes," claimed one campaigner. "These things are unhygienic and in some cases even lethal - and they are leaking into our food," they added.

Farmer Lu Hin who owns a field where the garbage fertiliser was used said: "We use it to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers - and they grow well so it can't be bad. We also mix the garbage with common fertilizer, and we sell them at the village market but we also eat them ourselves too and it all tastes great.

"We save money and help people dispose of garbage, so I don't see what the problem is." Local health officials have pledged to investigate the scandal. "We will test the soil and the crops," said one.

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