Kiwifruit: Chinese growers reportedly using harmful accelerant

Kiwifruit: Chinese growers reportedly using harmful accelerant

Some kiwifruit sold in China could be damaging to the human immune system, according to reports in the Chinese media, due to growers using a growth-regulating chemical called Caplit.

The Zhouzi region, renowned for growing kiwifruit, upped its output of kiwi to 250,000 tonnes in 2010 with growers admitting to using the growth-accelerating chemical to increase the yield.

Despite the region’s produce being passed by the EU back in 2004, the Chinese media are reporting that the fruit now has serious health concerns.

Kiwi grower Zhou Hongshe said: "If we do not use it, the kiwi is too small. The chemical can double the weight of fruit.

"Before using it, the fruit is only about 100 grams, but after using it, the fruit can reach almost 200 grams."

The chemical has been registered in New Zealand since 1993, under the trade name Caplit, as a “plant growth regulator for sizing kiwifruit”.

New Zealand-based kiwifruit producer Zespri said in a statement: “Any grower found to have been using it will not have their fruit accepted for export by Zespri.”