I received a comment last night on my post regarding the seed vault in Norway. It is by a profile-less person known as "Crop" (heh heh), and if any comment has ever made me feel like Big Brother is watching, it's this one. Here's the whole thing so you don't have to go look for it:
A great amount of information regarding the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is available at the Global Crop Diversity Trust website (http://www.croptrust.org). In particular, there is a long page that answers all of the questions related to ownership and access to the Vault and to the seeds stored there (http://www.croptrust.org/main/arctic.php?itemid=211).I could have just deleted the comment as blatant propaganda, but I'm not like that. If you disagree with me I will post your opinion because it's pretty apathetic to only listen to your own opinion. And this comment just provides too much food for thought, besides being an advertisement for the seed vault. Let's go through this point by point:
The article written by Mr. Engdahl is a conspiracy theory based on erroneous information. In particular, Monsanto Corporation has had nothing at all to do with the project. The Government of Norway entirely funded the building of the project. Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust will support the maintenance and the operations of the Vault. The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has donated funds to the Trust that enable genebanks in the developing world and the international agricultural research centers to package and send seeds to Svalbard. The Gates foundation has no other part to play in the project, and cannot access any of the seeds stored there. The full list of all donors to the Trust is found at http://www.croptrust.org/main/donors.php.
No GM seeds are stored in the Seed Vault. The administration of the Seed Vault has decided against specifying which diversity is worthy of being conserved for future generations; that would be presumptuous and risky. Nevertheless, at this time, the Seed Vault does not offer storage to GM varieties. Norwegian law, introduced prior to the establishment of the Seed Vault and intended to apply more generally to research and use of genetically modified organisms in Norway, prohibits importation of GM seeds. This law also applies to their storage in Svalbard.
The most important misunderstanding in need of correction regards access to the seeds. Only the depositor (that is, the group that sends the seeds to Svalbard) has access to the seeds. The packages and the boxes that hold them are never opened, and only the depositor can retrieve them if needed. It works like a safety-deposit box in a bank- Norway owns the Vault, and the depositor owns the seeds stored there, and is the only entity allowed to access the seeds.
The Global Crop Diversity Trust welcomes donations from all sectors, including corporations, but these donations in no way affect control or access to seeds in Svalbard. Please do an internet search on the Vault- hundreds are articles have been written and videos produced. Also look at the Norwegian government website for the Vault (http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/lmd/campain/svalbard-global-seed-vault.html?id=462220), and the seed portal site run by NordGen, which lists all the depositors at Svalbard (http://www.nordgen.org/sgsv/).
The Seed Vault is global effort to help address the problems genebanks have- especially in poor regions- in safeguarding crop diversity, by providing a free back-up storage site. That Norway along with many organizations have worked to provide this service to the world for free and under the strictest protection to the depositors of seed is a cause for celebration worldwide.
traditional varieties/landraces, modern varieties, and wild species related to crops." ( Crop Trust PDF) I am not sure what the criteria are for 'modern varieties', but modern is the opposite of traditional heirloom seeds.