Saturday, May 26, 2007

 

Killer banana rumour grips China

‘A rumour spread by text message has badly hit the price of bananas from China’s Hainan island, state media say.

The messages claim the fruit contains viruses similar to Sars, the severe respiratory illness which has killed hundreds of people worldwide.

Producers in Hainan say the resulting price slump is costing them up to 20 million yuan ($US2.6m) a day.

China’s Agriculture Ministry has dismissed the Sars claim as baseless. Police are investigating its source.

“It is utterly a rumour,” a Chinese Health Ministry official was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

“There has not been a case in the world in which humans have contracted a plant virus, and there is not any scientific evidence.”‘




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