China birth defects ‘up sharply’

by Richard on February 1, 2009

Pollution in China is reaching
alarming levels

Picture: 11th Hour Action

The BBC reports on a steep increase in Chinese babies with birth defects “A 2007 commission report said the rate of defects had risen 40% since 2001, from 104.9 per 10,000 births to 145.5 in 2006.

Officials blame emissions from Shanxi’s large coal and chemical industry for the problems there.

“The problem of birth defects is related to environmental pollution, especially in eight main coal zones,” said An Huanxiao, the director of Shanxi provincial family planning agency.”

Apparently, a child is born with physical defects every 30 seconds because of the worsening state of the environment.

It would be easy to shake our heads sadly about this, to “tut” gently about those horrid Chinese who put economic growth ahead of people’s welfare. But it won’t do. Responsibility for this situation needs to be taken not only by Chinese officials, but by us here in the West.

For years, the Chinese have been supplying us with cheap goods, fueling our consumer boom. We have been glad to snap up the bargains they have offered, without stopping to think about the real price of them.

Here is one more reminder that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

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