Date
29 May 2017
Some watermelons from Hainan were found to contain excessive levels of pesticide residue, Qingdao authorities say. Photo: Baidu
Some watermelons from Hainan were found to contain excessive levels of pesticide residue, Qingdao authorities say. Photo: Baidu

Qingdao residents fall sick due to toxic watermelon

Some Qingdao residents fell sick after eating watermelons that originated in Wanning in China’s southern island province of Hainan, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Seventeen people had to seek hospital treatment for food poisoning after eating watermelons of the so-called Black Beauty variety, the report said.

The people had complained of dizziness and nausea and also suffered vomiting after eating the fruit. 

Qingdao government said on Wednesday that a batch of watermelons from Wanning was found to contain excessive pesticide residue, and that vendors have been ordered to take all the products off their shelves.

One of the victims, a 29-year-old pregnant woman, needs to undergo an abortion as the poison has intruded into her baby’s blood in the womb, her husband was quoted as saying.

Qingdao food and drug authority announced that a total of 15,000 kilograms of toxic watermelon from Wanning had been distributed in Jimo and Jiaozhou cities.

Preliminary tests showed that the fruit contained excessive level of Aldicarb, a highly toxic pesticide, which had been prohibited from use in vegetable and fruit farms in 2002, the report said.

An Apple Daily reporter who visited some fruit vendors in Hong Kong found that some shops in Tai Po and Kowloon are selling Black Beauty watermelons.

A vendor told the reporter that the watermelon came from Taiwan, not Hainan. The vendor said she is not aware of any cases of poisoning.

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KZ/AC/RC

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