Authorities in the city of Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province have said they are looking into a case involving local rice that is suspected of being contaminated by heavy metals, and that they will dispose of it in a safe way if it is confirmed.
The Jiujiang government publicity department said on its Sina Weibo account on Friday that they sent investigators to probe the case and will gather up any possibly contaminated rice.
There has been a public notice prepared by environmentalists circulating online, since November 6, saying that they found the questionable rice in two houses in two different villages containing excessive amounts of cadmium. They have also found that the soil the villagers use for planting has excessive amounts of cadmium and some abandoned farmland there is even worse.
The notice said that the local people were not aware of the condition of their land, which they attributed to some sulfur, gold and copper mines on Dingjia Mountain, which were owned by the Jiujiang Mining and Smelting Co.
Residents said that the company had been releasing water that was polluted by the mines for a long time.
The environmentalists found that the waste water from the mines flowed through the village and eventually into East Lake and that some previous environmental impact assessments showed that the water contained the same pollutants as the farmland.
The publicity department said that the company was reorganized in 2008 and had been shut down until 2014. In August, the local government told the company that it had to cease operations and hired a third party to investigate the pollution.