Sunday, June 07, 2009


Not iron oxide; Ug99, a fungus that could end civilization as we know it:
Keynote speakers at a symposium on rust diseases held in Sydney last week said that a virulent new stem rust known as Ug99 posed a threat to wheat crops worldwide.

According to an international organisation set up to combat the disease, the Global Rust Initiative (GRI), the amount of stem rust now in the world might be very small, but there is about to be a lot more.
That was 2007; Ug99 continues to spread:
An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race Ug99 is currently spreading across Africa, Asia and most recently into Middle East and is causing major concern and an increase of food riots and civil unrest, notably in West and Central Africa among the worst-hit countries.

Unlike other rusts, which only partially affect crop yields, UG99 can bring 100% crop loss.
According to Nobel laureate and father of the Green Revolution Norman Borlaug:
This thing has immense potential for social and human destruction.
Unless resistant strains are developed wheat crops worldwide could be devastated.

Via GMO Pundit

Update: Famines are the bane of humanity.


Anonymous Toaf said...

You're right, Beck. It's a real concern.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

Thanks, Toaf. Unlike with flu and global warming there's nothing individuals can do to mitigate Ug99's advance. Truly scary.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous J F Beck said...

Dihydrogen monoxide not only [romotes rust, it's fatal when inhaled.

6:07 PM  

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