Another addition to China’s blooming food controversy, the exploding watermelons. The fruit will really explodes through science experiment and fun activities but these recent news was not intentional. Watermelons were exploding by themselves.
Watermelons in China were exploding because farmers applied the growth promotant forchlorfenuron. Reports stated that farmers wrongly applied the said substance – too late in season – which caused the watemelons to explodes like landmines.
The expected 20% increase in output became a tragedy. Acres of watermelon farms were gone to waste.
According to Environmental Protection Agency, forchlorfenuron is a cytokinin, which improves fruit size, fruit set, cluster weight and coldstorage in grapes and kiwifruits. Forchlorfenuron acts synergistically with natural auxins to promote plant cell division and lateral growth. This plant growth regulator causes an increase in berry or fruit size, including varieties not tolerant to gibberellic acid (certain grape varieties andkiwi). Application rates are extremely low. For grapes, lower use rates minimize harvest delay,while the higher use rates of 8 to 10 grams active ingredient (a.i.) per acre (A) maximizes berrysize and harvest delay. For kiwi fruit, application rate ranges from 2 to 8 grams a.i./A.
They claimed that its use posses little health risk. Substance ingestion may irritate human digestive system.
Now the chemical has a greater risks. Imagine how much money they lost due to improper use. Affected farmers might not have other source of income. They just wanted an increase income but the sinner substance returned nothing but losses.
I wonder how the exploding watermelon looks like. Is it enough to send someone to hospital? Could it be used by terrorist groups for massive bombings?
image courtesy of cctv 13