Hot on the heels of cadmium contaminated rice comes the latest health warning. It seems that cucumbers grown in the Shandong Province may contain artificial growth hormones. Farmers produce the liquid hormone using compounds from birth control pills. Although the effects of eating such cucumbers have not been confirmed, it is safe to say that everyone should stay away from them.

These cucumbers with hormones are actually very easy to identify as the flower on top of the cucumber remains healthy, due to the effects of the growth hormones. The hormone injected cucumbers also taste horrible.

Cucumbers with yellow flowers were very popular in wet markets in Jiaonan City, Shandong. The vegetables were considered tender and fresh. “People in the industry all know these cucumbers contain hormones,” a dealer selling cucumbers at a wet market told Qingdao Morning Post. The growth hormone is also available at the market. The seller boasted that the growth hormone makes the cucumber mature 50 percent faster and keeps the flower from drying up.

via Shanghai Daily.

A quick health warning: be cautious of consuming rice in China.

A study has recently found that some 10 percent of rice sold in China is contaminated with cadmium – chemical that leads to softening of the bones and kidney failure.

This heavy metal was mostly detected in rice produced in southern parts of China including Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangdong provinces. This highlights a prominent but ongoing problem of Chinese soil being polluted with heavy metals discharged from massive mining operations and other industrial activities over the years.

Other chemical substances including lead have also been detected in rice, according to a study by Nanjing Agricultural University.

Dozens of residents in Sidi village, Yangshuo county, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where cadmium pollution is heavy, are suspected of having the symptoms of itai-itai disease, which is characterized by pain in the joints and the spine.

Statistics from the Guilin Institute of Technology showed that the level of cadmium was 1.005 milligrams in every kilogram of locally grown rice in 1986, five times the standard amount.

Thankfully I eat rice from Thailand…

via GlobalTimes.

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