Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ug99: The Time Bomb That Could Wipe Out The World Wheat Crop

Scientists now fear that Ug99, a devastating wheat fungus also known as stem rust, could wipe out over 80 percent of the world's wheat crop as it spreads from Africa. In a world already on the verge of a massive food crisis, this is really, really bad news.

Most Americans have never heard Ug99, but the reality is that it is considered to be the most serious threat to the world food supply.

Ug99 is referred to as "stem rust" because it produces reddish-brown flakes on wheat stalks. It is incredibly deadly and there is no known way to cure it.

The Los Angeles Times reports that The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico now estimates that 19 percent of the world's wheat crop, mostly located in Asia and Africa, is in imminent danger. If Ug99 were to start spreading in the United States, it is estimated that approximately 10 billion dollars worth of wheat crops would be destroyed.

10 billion dollars.

That is a whole lot of bread.

The L.A. Times also reports that Rick Ward, the coordinator of the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., says that "A significant humanitarian crisis is inevitable."

Apparently Ug99 has already jumped the Red Sea and has affected areas as far as Iran already.

Wheat Experts say that it is poised to enter northern India and Pakistan, and that the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America.

If it doesn't get to North America some other way first.

Jim Peterson, a professor of wheat breeding and genetics at Oregon State University in Corvallis, does not sound optimistic:

"It's a time bomb," he told the L.A. Times.

"It moves in the air, it can move in clothing on an airplane. We know it's going to be here. It's a matter of how long it's going to take."

Are you all starting to get the picture?

This is serious.

If the worst case scenario came to fruition, and 80 percent of the world's wheat crop was destroyed, what do you think that would do?

Can you say famine?

As if things were not bad enough, wheat experts say that Ug99 is becoming more virulent as it spreads.

This quote from the recent L.A. Times article on Ug99 is very frightening.....

Scientists discovered a Ug99 variant in 2006 that can defeat Sr24, a resistance gene that protects Great Plains wheat. Last year, another variant was found with immunity to Sr36, a gene that safeguards Eastern wheat.

It is not like the world has enough wheat anyway.

The reality is that exploding populations, record droughts across the globe and dwindling strategic food reserves in the major industrialized nations have brought the world to the very edge of a devastating global food crisis.

World food reserves currently sit at a fifty year low, and many experts are warning that we are now facing a "perfect storm" that will cause a dramatic spike in world hunger.

Even the major industrialized nations are not immune. With U.S. wheat reserves now at a record low, USDA Undersecretary Mark Keenum had to admit last year: "Our cupboard is bare."

Things have become so serious that even Time magazine has now declared that we are in "a global food crisis".

Most Americans would like to think that "wealthy nations" such as the United States are immune from world famine, but the truth is that the U.S. only has enough wheat held in reserve to make half a loaf of bread for each citizen.

Half a loaf of bread.

How long do you think that will last you if Ug99 sweeps the globe?

If you won't listen to us, perhaps you will listen to the United Nations.

In a stunning new report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is warning that impoverished populations around the globe are already feeling the pain of higher food prices. The price of important crops such as rice, which is a key staple in many poorer nations, spiked more than 400 percent last year. In fact, food riots broke out in many third world countries last year when large numbers of people could suddenly not feed their families.

The effects of food shortages are not being seriously felt yet in the major industrialized nations where food represents about 10 to 20 percent of consumer spending, but in developing nations the poor often have to spend up to 80 percent of their meager income on food.

Britain's chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, says that the global demand for food is going to increase by about 50 percent by 2030, and that this will cause massive world problems of unprecedented magnitude in the years ahead.

"It's a perfect storm," he told the GovNet Communications Sustainable Development 09 conference in London. "We're not growing enough food, so we're not able to put stuff into the reserves."

And his gloomy forecast did not even include the impact of Ug99 on the world food supply.

The truth is that the world is quickly running out of food and more people than ever are hungry.....

*1 billion people in the world go to bed hungry every single night.

*Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death and 3/4 are children under the age of 5.

*More than 2.8 billion people, close to half of the world's population, live on less than the equivalent of $2 a day.

*About a third of all children in the world under the age of five suffer from serious malnutrition.

*The top fifth (20 per cent) of the world's people who live in the highest income countries have access to 86 percent of world gross domestic product. The bottom fifth, in the poorest countries, have about one percent.

*The assets of the world's three richest men exceed the combined gross domestic products of the world's 48 poorest countries.

When you add all of this up, the reality is that we could very well be on the verge of the worst global famine in the history of humanity.

If we are to take the scientists and the government experts seriously, then it is very likely that there will come a day when you will not be able to run down to the local Wal-Mart or the local McDonald's and grab all of the food you want.

Food shortages are coming. Will you and your family be ready?

For those of you who are interested in preparing, we encourage you to check out our sister site which has extensive information about how to get ready for what is ahead:

Let us pray that things will not be as bad as scientists fear they may be. But the truth is that things will be REALLY horrible as we approach the end times, and all of us need to get prepared.

1 comment:

phebious said...

Very well said. The problem with society is so many of us continually take things for granted. That means that we only smarten up when it's already too late. I mean if we would just buy a few extra items at the grocery store every week, we could have a supply of food for every citizen in a hurry.

Don't depend on the governent to fix this and to protect you. That won't happen. Each individual is responsible for his own and those in need. And yes I agree with the author, rough times are comming if you like it or not. So be prepared.

Look what happend to iceland when the economy crashed last fall! No it didn't really hit the news surprise surprise. Search for it and check out how the banks seized money and how the grocery shelves were bare. Where are you going to get your food then if you haven't prepared?