"Ug99 is a race of stem rust that blocks the vascular tissues in cereal grains including wheat, oats and barley. Unlike other rusts that may reduce crop yields, Ug99-infected plants may suffer up to 100 percent loss.
A plan to spread GMO?
One of the consequences of the spread of Ug99 is a campaign by Monsanto Corporation and other major producers of genetically manipulated plant seeds to promote wholesale introduction of GMO wheat varieties said to be resistant to the Ug99 fungus. Biologists at Monsanto and at the various GMO laboratories around the world are working to patent such strains.
Norman Borlaug, the former Rockefeller Foundation head of the Green Revolution is active in funding the research to develop a fungus resistant variety against Ug99 working with his former center in Mexico, the CIMMYT and ICARDA in Kenya, where the pathogen is now endemic. So far, about 90% of the 12,000 lines tested are susceptible to Ug99. That includes all the major wheat cultivars of the Middle East and west Asia. At least 80% of the 200 varieties sent from the United States can't cope with infection. The situation is even more dire for Egypt, Iran, and other countries in immediate peril.
Even if a new resistant variety was ready to be released today it would take two or three years' seed increase in order to have just enough wheat seed for 20 percent of the acres planted to wheat in the world." (Thanks Nelly)
I'm blogging this post from "Global Research" as an update on the posts on black stem rust, because I haven't seen much on it from other sources. I hope-really- that an effective policy will be enacted at global level to prevent the patenting of Ug99 resistant wheat. This will be dramatic for poor farmers who cannot afford patented seeds.