Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Commodities Price Run-up Leads to Tragedy: "Fields of watermelon burst in China farm fiasco"

From the AP via Forbes:
Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating what state media called fields of "land mines."

About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province were affected, losing up to 115 acres (45 hectares) of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.

Prices over the past year prompted many farmers to jump into the watermelon market. All of those with exploding melons apparently were first-time users of the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, though it has been widely available for some time, CCTV said....MORE

The Financial Times' BeyondBRICS blog has to get all adult and remind us of the melamine, cadmium-in-the-rice and tainted pork scandals in "China’s exploding watermelon scandal"