Late Night: Chinese put Gallagher’s Act to Shame

I’m beginning to get pretty fussy about my food sources.  This news item from The Guardian just made me even more so.  The picture shows some pretty huge watermelons that look like they just went through a Gallagher show.  What happened is much more perverse.

The flying pips, shattered shells and wet shrapnel still haunt farmer Liu Mingsuo after an effort to chemically boost his fruit crop went spectacularly wrong.

Fields of watermelons exploded when he and other agricultural workers in eastern China mistakenly applied forchlorfenuron, a growth accelerator. The incident has become a focus of a Chinese media drive to expose the lax farming practices, shortcuts and excessive use of fertiliser behind a rash of food safety scandals

So, this is a late night open thread because I just had to share this …


7 Comments on “Late Night: Chinese put Gallagher’s Act to Shame”

  1. Woman Voter says:

    I will pass on these here imports thank you.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Good grief!!

  3. Delphyne says:

    The fruit could not be sold and was instead fed to fish and pigs.

    They chopped up the remaining poison melons to feed to the fish and pigs? And then what – sell them as food for humans and animals like dogs/cats to eat?

    • dakinikat says:

      yup … isn’t this awful? It’s like the USA before the all the Nixon safety laws took effect. You know, the ones the Republicans are saying stifle the market, jobs and business?

  4. quixote says:

    (Erm, I’m being a wet blanket, so sorry for that, but the exploding watermelons have a pretty simple explanation.

    The growth factor works on plants. The molecules involved are so different in mammals that even knowing nothing more about this story, it’s 99.9999% probable that it has zero effect on humans, or farm animals, or people who eat farm animals.

    One of the effects of the factor must be to make the plant take on water. (Great way to increase size and weight at no cost.) The interior of the melon has much higher water capacity than the rind. So it expands like a water balloon and bursts. Spectacular, but not a concern for humans.

    Plain old unexploding pesticides are still the worst news.)

    • Thanks quixote… I was wondering if this was just a turgor presssure issue or something.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m more worried about the pattern it shows in farmers to do anything to improve their produce. This particular thing may not have been harmful but does it mean they’re using stuff that is?