A rumor that bananas carry viruses similar to SARS initially spread by text messages is causing a drastic price slump in the Hainan region of China, costing local banana producers over $2.6mm a day. China's Agricultural Ministry claims that bananas do not carry SARS, and that the malady is instead only caused by the practice of Falun Gong. Perhaps the Comunist Party of China's hold on ridiculous propaganda is weakening. The free dissemination of ridiculous ideas is the cornerstone of democracy, after all. More, from the BBC:
Hainan bananas had already been subject to rumours they caused cancer, after the banana plantations were hit by blight earlier this year. The banana fears come amid international concerns over tainted Chinese exports, including allegations of poisons in pet food and toothpaste.