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Toxic soil report shouldn't be State secret | Updated: 2013-02-28 21:59

The release of the results of the survey on China's soil pollution will not influence national defense, neither will it threaten national security. But if the results are not disclosed that will hinder the right of the public to know, participate and supervise, and put people's health in a dangerous place, says an article in the Beijing Times. Excerpts:

Information about soil pollution in China was deemed a State secret according to the country's environmental authorities, which have refused a Beijing lawyer's request for it to be published.

The first national survey on soil pollution was launched jointly by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land and Resources in 2006. The survey lasted about five years and had funding of 1 billion yuan ($160 million). But the results have not yet been made public.

Soil pollution directly threatens the health of residents. However, the public remains in the dark about the situation. It's a dereliction of duty if environmental authorities do not publish the pollution data.

The authorities' refusal to release the information is unreasonable.

To keep the information hidden will bring more risks. Farmers will continue to plough contaminated soil, while officials and businessmen will develop real estate projects in polluted land, which will endanger public health.

Holding back information on pollution is a myopic act. It's certain that various health hazards will emerge, by which time the credibility of local governments will be greatly hindered.

Translated by Dong Fangyu


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