Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Will Gold Price Breakout? 3 Things to Watch… - Jordan_Roy_Byrne
2.China Invades Saudi Oil Realm: PetroDollar Kill - Jim_Willie_CB
3.Bitcoin Price Trend Forecast, Paypal FUD Fake Cryptocurrency Warning - Nadeem_Walayat
4.The Stock Market Trend is Your Friend ’til the Very End - Rambus_Chartology
5.This Isn’t Your Grandfather’s (1960s) Inflation Scare - F_F_Wiley
6.GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
7.US Housing Real Estate Market and Banking Pressures Are Building - Chris_Vermeulen
8.Return of Stock Market Volatility Amidst Political Chaos and Uncertain Economy - Buildadv
9.Can Bitcoin Price Rally Continue After Paypal Fake FUD Attack? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Warning Economic Implosion on the Horizon - Chris_Vermeulen
Last 7 days
Gold Price Nearing Bull Market Breakout, Stocks to Follow - 20th Apr 18
What’s Bitcoin Really Worth? - 20th Apr 18
Stock Market May "Let Go" - 20th Apr 18
Overwhelming Evidence Against Near Stock Market Grand Supercycle Top - 20th Apr 18
Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast - Saudi's Want $100 for ARAMCO Stock IPO - 20th Apr 18
The Incredible Silver Trade – What You Need to Know - 20th Apr 18
Is War "Hell" for the Stock Market? - 19th Apr 18
Palladium Bullion Surges 17% In 9 Days On Russian Supply Concerns - 19th Apr 18
Breadth Study Suggests that Stock Market Bottom is Already In - 19th Apr 18
Allegory Regarding Investment Decisions Made On Basis Of Government’s Income Statement, Balance Sheet - 19th Apr 18
Gold – A Unique Repeat of the 2007 and How to Profit - 19th Apr 18
Abbeydale Park Rise Cherry Tree's in Blossom - Sheffield Street Tree Protests - 19th Apr 18
The Stock Market “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries - 18th Apr 18
Winter is Coming - Coming Storms Will Bring Out the Best and Worst in Humanity - 18th Apr 18
What Does it Take to Create Living Wage Jobs? - 18th Apr 18
Gold and Silver Buy Signals - 18th Apr 18
WINTER IS COMING - The Ongoing Fourth Turning Crisis Part2 - 18th Apr 18
A Stock Market Rally on Low Volume is NOT Bearish - 17th Apr 18
Three Gold Charts, One Big Gold Stocks Opportunity - 17th Apr 18
Crude Oil Price As Bullish as it Seems? - 17th Apr 18
A Good Time to Buy Facebook? - 17th Apr 18
THE Financial Crisis Acronym of 2008 is Sounding Another Alarm - 16th Apr 18
Bombs, Missiles and War – What to Expect Next from the Stock Market - 16th Apr 18
Global Debt Bubble Hits New All Time High – One Quadrillion Reasons To Buy Gold - 16th Apr 18
Will Bitcoin Ever Recover? - 16th Apr 18
Stock Market Futures Bounce, But Stopped at Trendline - 16th Apr 18
How To Profit As Oil Prices Explode - 16th Apr 18
Junior Mining Stocks are Close to Breaking Downtrend - 16th Apr 18
Look Inside a Caravan at UK Holiday Park for Summer 2018 - Hoseasons Cayton Bay Sea Side - 16th Apr 18
Stock Market More Weakness? How Much? - 15th Apr 18
Time for the Gold Bulls to Show their Mettle - 15th Apr 18
Trading Markets Amid Sound of Wars - 15th Apr 18
Sugar Commodity Buying Levels Analysis - 14th Apr 18
The Oil Trade May Be Coming Alive - 14th Apr 18

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Trading Lessons

Why Food Prices will go through the Roof in coming Months

Commodities / Agricultural Commodities Mar 30, 2008 - 11:25 PM GMT

By: F_William_Engdahl

Commodities Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleA deadly fungus, known as Ug99, which kills wheat, has likely spread to Pakistan from Africa according to reports. If true, that threatens the vital Asian Bread Basket including the Pu nj ab region. The spread of the deadly virus, stem rust, against which an effective fungicide does not exist, comes as world grain stocks reach the lowest in four decades and government subsidized bio-ethanol production, especially in the USA, Brazil and EU are taking land out of food production at alarming rates. The deadly fungus is being used by Monsanto and the US Government to spread patented GMO seeds.


Stem rust is the worst of three rusts that afflict wheat plants. The fungus grows primarily in the stems, plugging the vascular system so carbohydrates can't get from the leaves to the grain, which shrivels. 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.

In the 1950s, the last major outbreak destroyed 40% of the spring wheat crop in North America . At that time governments started a major effort to breed resistant wheat plants, led by Norman Borlaug of the Rockefeller Foundation. That was the misnamed Green Revolution. The result today is far fewer varieties of wheat that might resist such a new fungus outbreak.

The first strains of Ug99 were detected in 1999 in Uganda . It spread to Kenya by 2001, to Ethiopia by 2003 and to Yemen when the cyclone Gonu spread its spores in 2007. Now the deadly fungus has been found in Iran and according to British scientists may already be as far as Pakistan .

Pakistan and India account for 20 percent of the annual world wheat production. It is possible as the fungus spreads that large movements could take place almost overnight if certain wind conditions prevail at the right time. In 2007 a three-day wind event recorded by Mexico's CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), had strong wind currents moving from Yemen, where Ug99 is present, across Pakistan and India, going all the way to China. CIMMYT estimates that from two-thirds to three-quarters of the wheat now planted in India and Pakistan are highly susceptible to this new strain of stem rust. One billion people who live in this region and they are highly dependent on wheat for their food supply.

These are all areas where the agricultural infrastructure to contain such problems is either extremely weak or non-existent. It threatens to spread into other wheat producing regions of Asia and eventually the entire world if not checked. 

FAO World Grain Forecast

The 2007 World Agriculture Forecast of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome , projects an alarming trend in world food supply even in the absence of any devastation from Ug99. The report states, “countries in the non-OECD region are expected to continue to experience a much stronger increase in consumption of agricultural products than countries in the OECD area. This trend is driven by population and, above all, income growth – underpinned by rural migration to higher income urban areas...OECD countries as a group are projected to lose production and export shares in many commodities… Growth in the use of agricultural commodities as feedstock to a rapidly increasing biofuel industry is one of the main drivers in the outlook and one of the reasons for international commodity prices to attain a significantly higher plateau over the outlook period than has been reported in the previous reports.” (my emphasis—w.e.).

The FAO warns that the explosive growth in acreage used to grow fuels and not food in the past three years is dramatically changing the outlook for food supply globally and forcing food prices sharply higher for all foods from cereals to sugar to meat and dairy products. The use of cereals, sugar, oilseeds and vegetable oils to satisfy the needs of a rapidly

increasing bio-fuel industry, is one of the main drivers, most especially the large volumes of maize in the US , wheat and rapeseed in the EU and sugar in Brazil for ethanol and bio-diesel production. This is already causing dramatically higher crop prices, higher feed costs and sharply higher prices for livestock products.

Ironically, the current bio-ethanol industry is being driven by US government subsidies and a scientifically false argument in the EU and USA that bio-ethanol is less harmful to the environment than petroleum fuels and can reduce CO2 emissions. The arguments have been demonstrated in every respect to be false. The huge expansion of global acreage now planted to produce bio-fuels is creating ecological problems and demanding use of far heavier pesticide spraying while use of bio-fuels in autos releases even deadlier emissions than imagined. The political effect, however, has been a catastrophic shift down in world grain stocks at the same time the EU and USA have enacted policies which drastically cut traditional emergency grain reserves. In short, it is a scenario pre-programmed for catastrophe, one which has been clear to policymakers in the EU and USA for several years. That can only suggest that such a dramatic crisis in global food supply is intentional.

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.

Work is also being done by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the same agency which co-developed Monsanto's Terminator seed technology. In my book, Seeds of Destruction I document the insidious role of Borlaug and the Rockefeller Foundation in promoting the misnamed Green Revolution as well as patents on food seeds to ultimately control food supplies as a potential political lever. The spreading alarm over the Ug99 fungus is being used by Monsanto and other GMO agribusiness companies to demand that the current ban on GMO wheat be lifted to allow spread of GMO patented wheat seeds on the argument they are Ug99 stem rust resistant.

By F. William Engdahl
www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

COPYRIGHT © 2008 F. William Engdahl. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

* F. William Engdahl is the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press) and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation , www.globalresearch.ca . The present series is adapted from his new book, now in writing, The Rise and Fall of the American Century: Money and Empire in Our Era. He may be contacted through his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

F. William Engdahl Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules