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Death of the orange?

Well this would suck. :

A story that has been growing to alarming dimensions in Florida orange country is breaking through to national media, as the  delivers the astonishing news that we might be only a decade away from the effective end of oranges and their juice at our breakfast table.  It’s because of a Chinese bacterial invasion known as “huanglongbing,” a presently incurable disease that spreads like cancer, thanks to an insect that acquires the bacteria by feeding on infected trees and spreads it to healthy trees it infests.  It’s basically the orange-tree version of mosquito-borne malaria.

The Post describes huanglongbing’s effects: “Roots become deformed.  Fruits drop from limbs prematurely and rot.  The trees slowly die.”  The affliction is known as “citrus greening” because of the unpleasant color of the fruit.  Fruit from infected trees is not poisonous to humans, but it looks and tastes wrong.  $80 million worth of research has yet to produce a cure.

The University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center says 67 percent of Florida citrus trees currently display signs of the bacteria.  Florida provides about 80 percent of the nation’s orange juice.  Other citrus-growing regions in the U.S., and around the world, have also reported outbreaks of the disease.

There is still hope that further research will find a way to cleanse infected trees of the huanglongbing bacteria, so the citrus industry is deeply concerned rather than completely panicking, but things will get rough if there isn’t a breakthrough soon.

Read more at the link above.

story | by Dr. Radut