Image: Svalbard seed vault courtesy Science Daily
The Global Crop Diversity Trust is primarily funded by the Gates Foundation, Monsanto, Syngenta and the Rockefeller’s.
These organisations along with the Norwegian government fund the so called ‘Doomsday Seed Vault’ in Svalbard, Norway. The vault holds samples of almost every food seed on the planet. It was built, by the Norwegian government in 2006. The running costs are met by the Norwegian government and The Global Crop Diversity Trust…an interesting organization, a partnership between the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, The Nordic Genetic Resource Centre.
Fan bloody tastic.
Buried deep in the permafrost but still requiring power to keep the temperatures low enough to prevent degradation of the seeds, the vault is there to provide future food security should some cataclysmic event wipe out our food supply. Most countries have their own seed banks, full of what grows best in that particular region, seeds that are best at dealing with the pests and problems in that region. Svalbard is apparently a back up in case national seed banks are destroyed. These seeds are at all times the property of the nation that deposited them there in the first place. In theory, only the nation that deposited them can withdraw them…in theory.
Now maybe it’s just me but I can see a few problems here.
For example, let’s just say some far flung nation, I dunno, pick one…make one up, it doesn’t matter. Let’s go with Oohmegoomieland, a small African nation that ticks along quite nicely…until a drought strikes. Seizing their chance a group of unemployed young men stage a coup, theres no army to stop them so they move into the palace and then the trouble starts. The US and the UK
invade them move troops in en-masse to help out the locals, but it looks like the lads will win as they know the area and we can’t catch them.
So, Obummer and MaybeMaybenot the new UK PM get together and decide to starve them out. Words are had with Billy Boy and all attempts by the new government to get back the only seeds that grow there are denied.
Okay, I had a bit of fun with that but I’m sure you see my point. Who decides when a country can make a withdrawal. Are there certain criteria that has to be fulfilled? Can other nations veto the decision to hand the seeds back?
Forgetting my fictitious country for a moment, I have more questions:
- The vault might be able to withstand a direct hit from a nuke but if you have the keys you can still get in. Who actually does have the keys? Do Bill and Melinda have a spare set in case Norway loses theirs?
- In the event of a global catastrophe what arrangements are in place to get the seeds back to their owners?
- I don’t buy it but global warming seems to be a dead cert according to the politicians. What happens if the permafrost melts?
- As it relies on power as well as natural cooling what happens in a long term grid down situation?
- If a country hasn’t made a deposit will they be left to starve if disaster strikes?
- Why would Norway decide to foot the bill to ensure the rest of the world survives a major event?
- Are these real food seeds or Frankenseeds? After all Monsanto and Syngenta are involved. Will we be eating food from crops grown from genetically modified seeds?
- Are we really expected to believe that a post-apocalyptic version of Amazon will dispatch our order, by helicopter as soon as we make the request?
- Anybody know the answer to my questions? Feel free to chip in with a comment or two.
Why has the United States sent seeds to Norway? Vast areas of land in the US are unlikely to be the target of a nuclear attack, are unaffected by earthquakes and volcanoes, are isolated and unpopulated. Why not store seeds in such an area?
I’ll tell you why. These stored seeds will be handed out only to those that bow and scrape to their new leaders. We all know that if you control the food supply you control the people, I suggest that if you control the seed supply you control the nations that house the people. Only those ‘friends’ judged as worthy will be able to feed their citizens.
Be responsible for your own food security. Heirloom seeds should be on everyone’s list as one of the most valuable things you can own…unless you happen to know Bill and Melinda, the Rockefeller’s or you have a spare set of keys and a helicopter.