Cadmium in Chinese rice – what should a consumer do ?

An article in the New York Times (May 20, 2013) describes the problem of ‘cadmium rice” – a report that claims that 44 % of the rice tested had twice the level of cadmium (0.4 milligrams per kilogram) as considered acceptable. Chinese consumers were asked to avoid consuming food from one region but to diversify their food sources. The sources of cadmium are claimed to be zinc mining and chemical wastes/ But demand for cadmium is driven by its use in batteries that are driven by the demand for cell phones and other electronics. How much of the cost of cleaning up the environment to guarantee safe food should be borne by the consumer of the electronics products that use the metals ? Is diversification of food sources by rice consumers the solution to this problem or should the brands of rice with high cadmium levels be banned and destroyed, even if it increases food prices ? What safeguards should be implemented by battery manufacturers and users to ensure compliance with environmental laws ?

About aviyer2010

This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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