Adalyn Cross is a freelance journalist. In October 3305, she covered a widespread food shortage brought on by mass crop failures in key agricultural systems and the investigation into the blight that caused it for Vox Galactica.
20 OCT 3305
- A tri-superpower group has identified the cause of the blight that has ruined crops on multiple worlds. Gino Borstein of the Federal Intelligence Agency delivered a report on behalf of the cross-superpower taskforce: "Working with the Rockforth Corporation, we have confirmed that the EX7 fertiliser was deliberately contaminated with a chemical compound shortly after mass production began. The contaminant has a unique synthetic composition specifically designed to introduce a highly aggressive pathogen that quickly destroys plant matter. Our investigations have uncovered several potential leads, and we expect to identify the contaminant's point of origin soon." Vox Galactica journalist Adalyn Cross commented: "Taken at face value, this seems to absolve Rockforth of causing the blight. But there may yet be culpability issues, considering the company's cavalier attitude towards regulatory checks. Commentators have pointed to the requests made by the Interstellar Association for Agriculture as evidence that the company placed profit above safety. The question is: who is behind this attempt to eradicate the food supplies of billions of people? Are we dealing with a terrorist attack on an interstellar scale? Or was this an attempt to ruin Rockforth, perhaps committed by a dangerous corporate rival?" In related news, additional cargo checks have been implemented at starports following the blight's rapid spread. Researchers have theorised that contaminated goods ferried by unsuspecting traders are to blame for introducing the blight to non-agricultural systems.
18 OCT 3305
- A collaborative body has been formed by the three superpowers to trace the source of the blight that is laying waste to crops on key agricultural worlds. The development was covered by journalist Adalyn Cross for Vox Galactica: "We know that the Rockforth fertiliser caused the advanced decay that has affected so many crops, but the specifics remain unclear. Was the corrupted fertiliser the result of an industrial manufacturing error, or perhaps sabotage by a rival company? Is there evidence of a deliberate effort to harm the people of the core systems? With billions of citizens facing food shortages, departments from all three superpowers are collaborating to identify the origin of the blight and halt its progress. The speed with which the blight has spread is frankly stunning." Rex Whitlock, marketing director at Rockforth Corporation, released this statement: "This development has come as a shock to everyone at Rockforth. Our EX7 fertiliser passed many rigorous tests and successfully increased crop productivity in controlled experiments, so we have no explanation for its calamitous effects. We would like to reassure customers and shareholders alike that we are cooperating fully with the investigation."
14 OCT 3305
- The cause of mass crop spoilage on key agricultural worlds has been attributed to a new disease affecting plants. Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture summarised the organisation's findings: "The rapid decay of plant life on multiple planets was caused by the same strain of advanced blight. Its origin and vectors remain unknown, and it has so far resisted all established methods of treatment. Our analysis has not determined if the blight is a natural mutation or an artificial pathogen. Until we confirm this and develop a method of preventing further spread, viable cropland will become scarcer and the production of staple foods will continue to drop. The Vandermeer Corporation has offered to assist the IAA with its research. The company's experience of molecular diagnostics will hopefully contribute to a breakthrough." Journalist Adalyn Cross reported on this development for Vox Galactica: "Speculation on the cause of the blight has spread like wildfire, with theories ranging from chronic mismanagement to industrial sabotage. Political enemies are also being blamed in every affected system, with competing factions quick to lay the blame at each other’s doorstep. As tensions rise and billions find themselves short on food, such accusations are likely to escalate to dangerous levels. Trade initiatives and charitable imports are all proving helpful, but will that be enough to stave off disaster?"
11 OCT 3305
- A recent commodity appeal has spurred civil unrest in several systems, with civilians fearing that their respective governments are unable to cope with the widespread crop failures. Vox Galactica published a report on developments by journalist Adalyn Cross: "Following crop failures on a massive scale, the projected availability of staple foodstuffs has drastically fallen in a number of systems. This, in turn, has triggered increased prices, panic buying and stockpiling - all of which have exacerbated the problem. On the most severely impacted worlds, such as Birmingham and Simpson's Eden, citizens are taking to the streets and demanding answers from the authorities. But with food supplies being strangled at the source, it appears little can be done to appease their frustration." Nathaniel Lopez of the Galactic Welfare Trust, a charitable aid foundation, made this statement: "Low-income families and those dependent on welfare have been hit hardest by these shortages. Our organisation is distributing food cartridges, but frankly the magnitude of this situation dwarfs our efforts. Billions of people are at risk of going hungry if a solution cannot be found. We call upon food manufacturers to help alleviate the problem by reducing prices. To those companies aiming to make a short-term profit, be warned – you could be contributing to significant loss of life from starvation."
03 OCT 3305
- The impact of low crop yields in key agricultural systems has reached civilian populations, prompting public concerns over food availability. Freelance journalist Adalyn Cross published this report on Vox Galactica: "The scarcity of fresh fruit and vegetables has become a major concern. Despite the efforts of agricultural bodies and corporations to prevent shortages from affecting the general public, the availability of produce is believed to have fallen further in recent weeks. With fear of a widespread food shortage rising, stockpiling of staple foods by markets and citizens has increased. Prices have fluctuated as opportunistic suppliers take advantage of the situation. It's clear that the situation is more complicated than a mere bad harvest, but as yet there has been little effective response from local governments." In related news, the Rockforth Corporation has publically responded to the Interstellar Association for Agriculture, following requests for compliance documentation related to its new fertiliser. Rockforth marketing director Rex Whitlock made this statement: "We see it as our duty to lead the recovery of affected farming communities, and our revolutionary fertiliser will play a big role. I have full confidence that our new product meets the IAA's standards, and we will fulfil their request at the earliest opportunity."