KaBoom! Chinese watermelons explode…
If there was any doubt
remaining that privileges afforded by modern technology are
occassionally abused, bursting watermelons in China should
clear it up.
According to the Huffington Post, about 20
farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province witnessed
bursting melons in their fields after over-imbibing the fruits
with growth hormone forchlorfenuron.
with intact fruit took their forchlofenuron-treated fruits to
market, the China Central Television (CCT) reported, but the damage done
to the unburst fruits was still evident. The CCT report
described the melons as “fibrous, misshapen fruit with mostly
white instead of black seeds.”
Other farmers chopped the
innards of exploded fruit into bite sized portions and fed it
to fish and pigs.
Wang Liangju, a professor with College
of Horticulture at Nanjing Agricultural University, said that
forchlorfenuron is safe and effective, and that the recent
explosions were caused by incorrect application. Still, this
isn’t the first instance of growth hormone gone awry in
China. According to the Huffington Post:
March last year, Chinese authorities found that “yard-long”
beans from the southern city of Sanya had been treated with
the banned pesticide isocarbophos. The tainted
beans turned up in several provinces, and the central city of
Wuhan announced it destroyed 3.5 tons of the vegetable.
Feng Shuangqing, a professor at the China Agricultural
University, told CCT that the watermelon dilemma “showed that
China needs to clarify its farm chemical standards and
supervision to protect consumer health,” reports Huffington
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