Monday, February 25, 2008

Doomsday Seed Vault

This is an interesting news story about Norway's international seed vault, containing seeds of food crops grown around the world. It is located deep in a mountain under tight security. I imagine a James Bond movie could have a plot involving this remote impenetrable seed bank - where an heirloom seed potato might save the world!It was pointed out that Iraq and Afghanistan's seed stores have been decimated in recent times, and that this could have devastating consequences for those countries. Apparently, the Taliban destroyed Afghanistan's seed bank just because they wanted the plastic containers the seeds were stored in. How sad and disgusting!

News story located here.

The CBC radio program "The Current" had a discussion about this seed vault today. I caught it while travelling in the car. There were interesting discussions with the vault's executive director and with critics who think that important agricultural seeds should be continuously grown, not warehoused where they don't adjust to the climactic and disease/pest challenges. Heirloom seeds were praised. GMO seeds are not allowed in the vault, due to Norway's ban on any import of such seeds into the country.

Here's the overview of the radio program. I'm hoping it comes out on a podcast soon (CBC shows available on iTunes). It was a very interesting program.

5 comments:

Owin & Irena said...

the seed vault is fascinating stuff. i think you should pitch the James Bond idea in Hollywood. I read that armed guards protect the vault...but their concern is polar bears, not villains...yet!
irena

WiseAcre said...

I agree that important agricultural seeds should be continuously grown. But putting something away for a rainy day shouldn't be forgotten.

As for 007, the hybrids are ok but I still prefer the original.

Gardenista said...

wiseacre - good one! and I think I'd have to pitch 007 vs. Monsanto...

jodi said...

I heard that too, and was intrigued by it, but also felt that Dan (from Saltspring Seeds) criticisms were spot on. Like you, I hope it comes out in a podcast, because (ahem) I was still in bed, having stayed up too late reading, and might have missed a few points.

Tracy said...

Wow, I had no idea, thanks for sharing this......it was really interesting.