Global Seed Vault : MONSANTO – Seeds of Evil?
The Monsanto Vegetable Seed Company and Genetically Modified Foods recently came under the loop once again, provoking heated debate and contradictory opinions from different sources. Monsanto are being called unflattering names such as Seeds of Evil, Seeds of Suicide and Monsanto’s harvest of Fear. They are accused of destroying farming, holding the monopoly over the seeds farmers are buying at a considerable price. This system is even considered flawed and a health risk by some. In their defence, Monsanto are aiming to provide in “an immediate need to harvest more quality, nutritious food from each unit of land, water and energy”.
No matter who is right and who is at fault here, the fact remains that resources are dwindling with the challenge of an ever growing human population on earth. Mother Nature could reach a state where she might not be able to keep on providing for all of us. We are the ones who crippled her and we will now have to find healthy ways to care for ourselves and our world in the years to come, in a healthy and responsible manner.
SVALBARD – New Noah’s Ark or Overpriced Deep Freeze?
As with many other cases where the survival of the earth and all it’s inhabitants are in question, money is the first and biggest factor taken in consideration. This is usually where all the fights, motivation and education kicks off big time, in the hope that some of the so called “big fishes” somewhere will take notice and give their support to the worthy cause. The inevitable question arose whether the Svalbard Seed Vault is a necessity for the survival of the world or merely an overpriced deep freeze.
If the major financial role players in the project are taken into consideration, one might find the answer. The charitable Bill Gates Foundation invested some $30 million. The Government of Norway, the Rockefeller Foundation, Syngenta Foundation and of course the notorious Monsanto Corporation amongst a few others, also invested millions in the so called doomsday vault.
Save for Doomsday – The Svalbard Way
Seed banks are vulnerable to all sorts of catastrophes. The Svalbard seed bank was built to protect the world’s food sources for the survival of human civilization in a post apocalyptic world. It contains duplicate samples or copies of a diversity of seeds of the world’s most prized crops held in other seed banks all over the world. This is a backup plan in the event of those being lost or destroyed. Seeds are kept frozen in a stable environment of humidity and temperature of -18 oC (-0.4 oF). They are stacked in alphabetical order in plastic containers on steel shelves inside the vault and can be preserved for 200 to 2 000 years or even much longer. The seeds itself are stored in four layered envelopes to protect it against humidity.
The impressive US$9million (NOK 45 million) seed bank who opened in 2008 was built on Spitsbergen Island in Norway inside a sandstone mountain. This area was specifically chosen for it’s lack of earthquakes and other such dangers, temperatures, the height above sea level (120 metres or 390 ft) and a local coalmine providing the power for refrigeration. This is like a safe deposit box in the bank. The bank owns the building, the content of the box is owned by the depositor and no-one else has access to your content.
In the case of any large scale global disasters, natural or induced such as floods, fires, change in climate, and war, the seeds in the secured Svalbard vault might be our best hope for feeding the world some day.
Author: Maritha Koortzen
The author writes to various websites and newspapers mostly on Health and Social Issues. She also talks at Ladies Events about Health and Wellness.
Feel free to contact her for any freelance writing.