New food scandal as fields of watermelons are destroyed after farmers mistakenly apply growth accelerator.

This article titled “Exploding watermelons put spotlight on Chinese farming practices” was written by Jonathan Watts, Asia environment correspondent, for The Guardian on Tuesday 17th May 2011 12.38 UTC

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.

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