What could be tastier in a fish filet sandwich than staphylococcal toxin and Vibrio cholerae contamination? This is not good news for the Vietnamese fish export market. Vietnam has experienced a recurring cholera outbreak since 2007. As of 21 July, there were over 600 cases of cholera in Vietnam since March 2008.
Nearly half the world’s population relies on rice as its primary food staple. In the last three months, the trading price of rice on international markets has nearly doubled. This is bad news for poor people in Asia and, especially, parts of urban West Africa. One contributor to this dramatic increase in price is the reduced growth in production in places like Vietnam because of viral infections such as grassy stunt virus and tungro and other crop infestations such as brown planthopper. So far, the infestations have not spilled over into China, the worlds largest rice producer, but one worries about the proximity and borders that are notoriously permeable to the smuggling of agricultural products.