Chinese researchers have found a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) that can be used to cultivate high-manganese, low-cadmium rice, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) said in a statement Tuesday [2 January 2018]. According to Qian Qian, chief expert and researcher in the field at CAAS, people often have an inadequate intake of manganese, an essential mineral in bone formation and the digestion of cholesterol, carbohydrates and protein…Full Article: Xinhua Jan 2018

Key Point

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  • Cadmium is a heavy metal that is produced by refining zinc ores. China is world’s largest zinc producer, and was forecasted to account for 37% of the global zinc mine production in 2017. Cadmium is used in various alloys, as well as to produce batteries, televisions, semiconductors, etc. Excessive cadmium consumption can damage the kidneys, lungs, liver, and bones.
  • In September 2017, a Chinese research project led by Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture (SHE:000998) reportedly developed a new variety of rice that mitigated against cadmium pollution. The low-cadmium Indica rice trial project (soil contained 1.5 mg/kg of cadmium) was located in Xiangtan County, Hunan Province. Two rice samples registered 0.06 mg/kg and 0.07 mg/kg of cadmium, which was below the national standard of 0.2 mg/kg.
  • In August 2017, the World Bank in China announced it would lend USD 100 million to ameliorate heavy metal pollution in Hunan Province, central China. The World Bank program will encompass 8,000 hectares of farmland (primarily rice crops).
  • In February 2013, Guangdong Province reported that cadmium tainted rice from Hunan Province was distributed within Guangdong. In May 2013, there were widespread reports of cadmium rice being served at restaurants in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
  • In February 2012, the Hunan provincial government began a cadmium testing initiative.
  • According to a 2011 survey conducted by China’s Ministry of Agriculture, 67.8% of the sampled rice paddy land (or 107,200 hectares out of 182,133 ha) were contaminated with pollutants including cadmium, arsenic, nickel, copper, mercury and chromium. The survey took place in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Sichuan.
  • In 2009, a research group from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), South China Agricultural University, Xiamen University and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland tested 100 samples of rice from Hunan Province. Of the 100 rice samples, 65 had excessive cadmium.

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