The Seed Vault at the End of the Earth (pt. II)

20110225_171844_Rowellseedvault

I wanted to quickly, for the digital record, share additional information I found about the Svalbard Seed Vault (SSV) after my original post on the subject.

Kent Whealy started the Iowa Seed Savers Exchance over 30 years ago to save heirloom seeds from the agricultural dust heap. He was later forced from leadership of the SSE by people directly related to the SSV and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, such as the aforementioned Cary Fowler. The well-founded concerns of Whealy and others have, as usual, been rigorously dismissed as “conspiracy theories” -a common tactic employed against anyone who dares to question Monsanto and Biotech.

This speech, delivered by Mr. Whealy at the Land Institute Prairie Festival, back in September, 2010 tells the story and his concerns. It paints a very disturbing picture. Below is an excerpt.

“All depositors must sign the Svalbard Depositors Agreement which places the deposited varieties under control of the United Nations’ “FAO Treaty” (International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture), Article 7 of which states:

“The Depositor agrees to make available from their own stocks samples of accessions of the deposited plant genetic resources and associated available non-confidential information to other natural or legal persons in accordance with the following terms and conditions. . . . .”

The agreement goes on to dictate that “original samples” (other seeds of the varieties deposited in Svalbardthat are also in storage in the seed vaults at Heritage Farm) are also covered by the FAO Treaty. By signing the treaty, SSE cannot refuse any requests for seeds of deposited varieties from “Contracting Parties.”

Corporate breeders now can, as a right, request those varieties from SSE’s seed vaults at Heritage Farm, splice in GMOs, then patent and sell the seed. Indeed, a 1.1% tax on patents of “derivatives” of the varieties deposited in Svalbard is the main way that the FAO Treaty will generate its funding.”

Vandana Shiva explains in this article how similar [hostile/deceptive] tactics have been used in India to take control of the many varieties of heirloom seeds lovingly propagated and protected by Indian farmers over many millenia.

It’s also worth reading the Non-GMO Project’s document “GMO Myths & Truths”. 

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