Top news: Watermelon explode after an overdose of growth accelerators; Italian State Council blocked the conversion of a gas power plant into a coal power plant; a video from Al Jazeera shows the enormous issues of facing Fukushima sealife; Greenpeace protest takes place in Brussels outside of the European Business Summit.
#Sustainable Agriculture: Chinese farmers faced fields of exploding watermelons after they used a growth accelerator – Forchlorfenuron – in attempt to make extra money from their cultivations.
Chinese regulations don't forbid use of the growth accelerator, which is also allowed in the United States for use on kiwi fruit and grapes. The incident has become a focus of Chinese media drive to expose the lax farming practices, shortcuts and excessive use of fertilizer behind a rash of food safety scandals.
Farmers depended on fertilizers because many doubled as migrant workers and had less time for their crops. This dependency was promoted by state subsidies keeping fertilizers cheap, claimed Pan Jing of Greenpeace. Moreover, many farmers grow their own food separately from the chemically-raised crops they sell and “the government is aware of the environmental problems caused by chemical fertilizer, but they are also concerned about food output" continues Pan Jing.
#Climate: The Italian State Council has rejected the conversion plan of one of Enel's gas power plants into a coal power plant. According to Enel, a coal power plant would be less polluting than a gas power plant because its higher chimneys are able to release pollutants further from the ground. Greenpeace Italy campaigns director Alessandro Giannì said that “coal is the worst plant enemy”, totally unsuitable to an area like the one where Enel intended to convert the gas power plant.
#Fukushima: A new video from Al Jazeera shows workers in Fukushima trying to prevent a disaster after a series of explosions in the nuclear power plant. The video also shows Greenpeace technicians measuring radiation levels in water and seaweeds and reveals the problems faced by fishermen, whose livelihood will be affected by the impossibility of harvesting contaminated seaweed in the coming weeks.
#Climate: More than 170 Greenpeace activists today protested against companies that oppose the 30% cut in CO2 emissions outside of the European Business Summit in Brussels. Activists blocked entrances to the meeting venue, delaying the start of the meeting, and allowing access only to companies that had supported a cut in emissions.