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Gardener exposes blood bank mystery

HEALTH officials are investigating how a packet of donated blood made its way to a keen gardener who proudly posted an online picture of himself using the diluted blood as fertilizer for his orchids.

The package clearly showed the blood was collected by Chengdu Blood Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on October 3 this year and was due to expire in 2014, today's Shanghai Morning Post reported.

A public outcry was sparked after the gardener's post - not least because scientists have rubbished the idea of using blood as plant fertilizer.

Chengdu Blood Center confirmed the blood was distributed to a blood bank in suburban Shuangliu County, but does not know how it was disposed of, a spokeswoman told the newspaper.

Normally, blood to be disposed of should be disinfected before being heated or buried deep underground to eliminate environmental pollution, she said. The blood is banned from sale or other use, she added.

Biologists are shocked at the idea of using blood to nurture orchids. Shen Xuebao, a biologist at Shanghai Botanic Garden, described it as "ridiculous." Orchids can't absorb nutrients directly from the blood, he explained

The gardener has apologized for the outcry and said he had used discarded blood for his experiment.


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