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July 13, 2012

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Factory accused of killing crop

A WATERMELON grower in the city's Qingpu District is blaming a furniture factory nearby for his poor harvest this summer, saying the factory has frequently released a pungent paint odor he thinks is killing his crop.

The grower, surnamed Yan, a native of Zhejiang Province, said he rented 1.6 hectares in Qingpu's Wanshi Village to grow watermelons but two-thirds of them bore no fruit. He blamed the fruitless and dying vines on the pungent odor released by the Shanghai Lingxin Furniture Factory next to his lands.

"The furniture factory released a very strong paint smell every two and three days and polluted my lands," said Yan. "The closer to the factory, the more dying plants and greenery you will see in the fields," Yan said.

Government test are pending. A district government publicity officer, surnamed Zhou, said the furniture factory will face administrative punishment because it was not equipped with pollution control facilities.

"It is still unknown if the death of the watermelons is related to the factory's odor, pending the agricultural committee's completion of its tests," Zhou said.


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