This horrifying account of Indian farmers forced to grow food in toxic water sounds like a preview of our whole world if corporate capitalism completes its takeover.
India’s Public Health Time Bomb
The widespread use of untreated wastewater – particularly in urban and peri-urban areas – to grow a considerable portion of India’s food supply, coupled with current inaction from officials, has converged to produce, say some scientists, a toxic time bomb in a nation that soon will overtake China to become the world’s largest.
India is the world’s 15th largest exporter of agricultural, fishery and forestry products. The United States is India’s top export market.
Even knowing the risks from irrigating crops with untreated wastewater, most Indian farmers – especially in the peri-urban areas – have no alternative.
Women transplant rice in a field near Meerut irrigated with industrial wastewater...
... toxic metals such as arsenic, copper, lead, cadmium and mercury, ... have made their way into water supplies and, via irrigation, into the food chain.
Concern has often focused on the toxicity or carcinogenic properties of the metals, particularly at high doses. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that heavy metals may have other adverse effects on health – including cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke – even at lower levels of exposure, which might be prevalent in many parts of the world, including the UK and the US.