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‘Time Bomb’ Wheat Fungus Could Wipe Out 80% Of World’s Crop

In Business, Economy, Environment, Food/Drink, India, Science on June 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Via LA Times: The Ug99 fungus, called stem rust, could wipe out more than 80% of the world’s wheat as it spreads from Africa, scientists fear. The race is on to breed resistant plants before it reaches the U.S. It has already jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America — if it doesn’t hitch a ride with people first.

India and Pakistan have experienced a surplus of wheat this season after many years of shortage and poor harvests. Both countries have allowed export for the first time in years.

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