March 1, 2010 8:21 PM Subscribe
"Indeed, 90 percent of the world’s wheat has little or no protection against the Ug99 race of P. graminis. If nothing is done to slow the pathogen, famines could soon become the norm — from the Red Sea to the Mongolian steppe — as Ug99 annihilates a crop that provides a third of our calories.
"Since it was discovered a dozen years ago, Ug99 has steadily crept north and east out of Uganda. Wind patterns could soon carry it to the Punjab region on the border of India and Pakistan — one of Asia’s most crucial breadbaskets. In the next few years, the pathogen could also travel through Iran to Afghanistan, as well as into Turkey.
For the Americans in the crowd: the USDA's official Ug99 website
, along with its current action plan
[PDF, 359.62 KB].