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Ug99: The new "red menace"

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posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:00 AM
Generally confined to Africa to date, the Ug99 fungus is now spreading eastward, threatening Asian grain and wheat stocks. Scientists are rising to the challenge but will their efforts be enough to stop this stubborn and ruthless blight?

As Ug99, the deadly stem rust-causing fungus blighting African wheat, marches eastward, scientists across the globe are scrambling for ways to outsmart it.

First discovered in Uganda 12 years ago, Ug99 has since snowballed, through Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and, now, Yemen.

"I look at Yemen as the gateway into the Middle East, into Asia," says David Hodson of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Indeed, fears are rife that Ug99 is headed for the Punjab, South Asia's most important breadbasket, which feeds hundreds of millions.

More at source: uharanafrica

posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:29 AM
Could this eventually cause a widespread famine? I hope not.

[edit on 1-4-2010 by heyJude]

posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 05:24 AM
And another reason to switch to Monsanto © Genetically Manipulated ® Crops...

I really hope they find a natural cure before that happens.

posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 11:54 AM
This threat continues to move west...
In this article from last month it noted a couple interesting things, like the fungus has made its way to Iran already, and that in the US they are going about a new way of fighting the past they would find strains of wheat with one strong gene that would withstand the 'rust' and produce it. When the next threat came up they would search for another strain with one strong gene that could withstand it...that seems to no longer be an effective fix.
Now the new approach is to find seveal strains that have different not fully effective but accumatively effective genes...combining them to create a deffensive genetic system in the plants.
Seems like a good idea...maybe.

oh, for the fun of it, also from the wired article
"Ug99 could easily make the transoceanic leap to the United States. All it would take is for a single spore, barely bigger than a red blood cell, to latch onto the shirt of an oblivious traveler. The toll from that would be ruinous; the US Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 40 million acres of wheat would be at serious risk if Ug99 came to these shores, where the grain is the third most valuable crop, trailing only corn and soybeans. The economic loss might easily exceed $10 billion; a simple loaf of bread could become a luxury"

posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:04 PM
so theoretically Ug99 could become a terrorist weopon in being able to wipe out the crops of country they deem they are at war with if they possessed this fungi? not april fools is it?

posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by Grey Magic

You said what I was thinking. I would not be surprised if Monsanto created this thing to sell their new resistant seeds.

posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 08:46 AM
The only fools here are the ignorant ones who don't take time to look at source material.

Read the articles....this has been an ongoing issue.

You can even search ATS...just type in UG99 in the search box. There are several previous threads that mention this threat...and they all seem to die quietly...

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