Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (1): 13-21.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.01.002

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Geographical Environment for the Safe Production of Food

WANG Li1, 2, XU Yuefeng1, 3, KONG Chang1, 3, MENG Min1, 3, WANG Wuyi1, *   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life sciences, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands;
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-08-31 Revised:2017-10-20 Online:2018-01-30 Published:2018-01-26
  • Contact: WANG Wuyi, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    FORHEAD with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)

Abstract: Food is essential for human survival, but harmful, toxic substances in food damage and threaten human health. Food production is inseparable from the place where the food is produced; that is, from the geographical environment that consists of natural and human environments, two parts of a unified whole. China’s territory is vast and its geographical environment is complex and diverse. Food production patterns in different parts of the country vary significantly, as do local socio-economic and cultural conditions. Such differences have an enormous impact on food safety. Based on the geographical area where food is produced in China, this paper reveals the main environmental problems arising from industrial and agricultural production activities, and related risks for food safety and health. In concluding, we make some recommendations for countermeasures. The main food safety related environmental problems include the excessive application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides; high background levels of heavy metals; discharge of wastewater and heavy metals; and excessive use of additives and antibiotics in livestock and poultry breeding and aquatic products. All these issues can lead to huge risks for food safety and thus health. These are not simply scientific issues, but also political, economic and legal issues, as well as social problems that differ from region to region. Therefore, comprehensive studies are needed to identify risks to food safety and health hazards in different areas. Systematic and comprehensive risk assessments of health problems caused by changing ecosystems, environmental pollution, nutrition problems and lifestyle, and especially comprehensive risk assessments of regional environmental changes and health risks are needed. Measures based on an understanding of local conditions must be put forward to protect food safety and health, to strengthen multi-sectoral management, and to improve environmental quality

Key words: China, environmental pollution, food safety, geographical environment