Why Are Watermelons Exploding In China?

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Entertainment Editor
05.18.11 5 Comments

Another example of questionable food industry practices in China was reported by The Guardian in an article which opens with:

The flying pips, shattered shells and wet shrapnel still haunt farmer Liu Mingsuo [Guardian]

Settle down, Guardian, the watermelons didn’t molest him.  What happened was Liu and others “mistakenly” applied a growth accelerating chemical, forchlorfenuron, to the watermelons too late in the season and while conditions were too wet.  The chemical is said to shorten the harvest season by two weeks and increase the size of the fruit by 20%.  Liu blames the chemical for the bursting of eight acres of his crop.

Around the city of Danyang in China’s Jiangsui province, the watermelon-bursting problem has affected about 111 acres of farmland owned by about 20 farmers.   Meanwhile, the BBC reports the chemical was not used on several other watermelon fields which also experienced a bursting problem and points to imported watermelon seeds from Japan as a possible cause, which would uphold the longstanding Chinese tradition of blaming Japan.

The picture above doesn’t show the whole story, though.  Here’s a GAMMASQUAD EXCLUSIVE photo series direct from the scene:

100% accurate.

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When not writing for Uproxx, Caleb likes to volunteer at the legless cat shelter and photoshop the Babadook into all of his family photos. He once resolved the question “To be or not to be?” through the clever use of General Semantics. Your mom thinks you could be more like him if you only applied yourself.

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