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Chinese gov't vows to curb soil pollution

(Xinhua)

08:46, November 01, 2012

BEIJING, Oct 31 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has pledged to launch a national program on soil protection and to speed up efforts to establish a mechanism for soil protection in an effort to improve the country's soil environment in a step-by-step manner.

The pledge came out of an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday. The meeting, held to review soil protection, was chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

A six-year study conducted by relevant government departments has alarmed the Cabinet. The study found that the country's soil has been vastly polluted by human activities in the industrial, mining and farming sectors, according to the meeting.

Those attending the meeting agreed that efforts should be made both now and within a specified time frame to protect the soil environment, prevent and reduce soil pollution, ensure the quality and safety of farm products and build a sound living environment.

At the meeting, the Cabinet decided to strictly protect the soil of cultivated land and sources of drinking water, bring pollutants threatening soil under control, strictly monitor and control risks threatening the soil environment, carry out programs to control and rehabilitate polluted soil and improve abilities to supervise the soil environment.

The public, including enterprises and individuals, will be guided and encouraged to participate in the environmental efforts, it said.

The meeting also discussed and approved a draft on the amendment of the Trademark Law.
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