Back in 2000 an email rumor was going around here in the U.S. warning of bananas infected by a flesh-eating bacteria. The rumor read, in part, that:
Several shipments of bananas from Costa Rica have been infected with necrotizing fasciitis, otherwise known as flesh-eating bacteria... It is advised not to purchase bananas for the next three weeks.
Because of this rumor, the Centers for Disease Control had to issue a warning assuring everyone that no shipments of killer bananas had ever arrived from Costa Rica, or anywhere else in the world.
It now looks like a variant of the killer-banana rumor has popped up in China. The BBC reports that
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.
The Chinese Health Ministry has issued a statement, assuring everyone that there is no truth to the banana rumor and noting that, "There has not been a case in the world in which humans have contracted a plant virus, and there is not any scientific evidence."