2013 Food & Agriculture Feature Stories

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This 'Sanqi' flower has a toxic secret

Image | 2013-09-30 at 8:00

A close-up of the Panax pseudoginseng, or 'Sanqi' flower. Wenshan, Yunnan Province. Panax pseudo-ginseng, has been well reputed since ancient times for its ability to quicken blood flow, dissolve stasis, and eliminate swelling and pains. Wenshan...

The 1960s "Green Revolution" was wrong - but we can get it right

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 2013-09-24

The following is an excerpt from our report 'Chinese Herbs: Elixir of Health or Pesticide Cocktail?',  which can be read in full here . The so-called "Green Revolution" that William Gaud, Former Director of the US Agency for...

The deadly price of Sichuan's not-so-natural disasters

Blog entry by Lang Xiyu | 2013-08-28

Last month the Chinese province of Sichuan was victim to a prolonged and devastating rainstorm. According to online news outlets, the floods killed at least 68 people, with 179 missing and over three million people affected. In...

There's no such thing as pesticides on good bee-haviour

Feature Story | 2013-08-15 at 8:00

Whenever beekeepers run into Uncle Lee, they tend to bring up pesticides and ask when he's planning to spray. That's because Uncle Lee's honeysuckle field is located right next to a bee farm, and bees are highly sensitive to pesticides. As the...

Chickens, but no children, afforded protection from pesticides

Feature Story | 2013-08-14 at 8:00 1 comment

It's a common story across China: the young people have jobs or do business in the cities, leaving the elderly to tend to the village farms. Auntie Ye is illiterate, like so many of the honeysuckle growing farmers in the area. When asked how to...

Chinese farmers: working blind with toxic pesticides

Feature Story | 2013-08-08 at 8:00

Xiaogui belongs to the Hmong people, and already has seven or eight years experience in planting the herb Sanqi. Like so many people in his village, both him and his sister's sole income is dependent on farming, and their children often pitch in...

The people of China want THEIR say regarding genetic modification

Blog entry by Yu Jiangli | 2013-07-04

Last month China's Department of Agriculture approved three biosafety certificates for soybean imports. Their decision triggered a heated debate among the Chinese public and media. China first approved the import of genetically...

Exported: Chinese herbs laced with toxic pesticides

Blog entry by Eric Darier | 2013-07-03

Although widely known since 2009 as the world's largest exporter, a new Greenpeace East Asia investigation has now revealed that China is also exporting traditional Chinese herbs laced with a toxic cocktail of pesticide residues. ...

Pseudo-ginseng farms in Yunnan, China

Image | 2013-07-01 at 8:00

A field covered in black netting enclosures a pseudo-ginseng farm in Dehou Town, Wenshan County, Yunnan Province. Wenshan is the origin and main production area for pseudo-ginseng and accounts for almost 98 percent of China's total pseudo-ginseng...

Chinese Herbs

Publication | 2013-06-26 at 2:00 1 comment

This report shows that Chinese herbal products were covered in pesticide residues considered highly hazardous by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Some of the residue levels were hundreds of times higher than EU food safety standards. The...

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