Some More Alarming Facts About Svalbard Seed Vault | We Add Up

Some More Alarming Facts About Svalbard Seed Vault

09 October, 2015 2 comments Leave a comment

Svalbard seed vault IMG 8750

We received several queries and comments from our readers pertaining to our article on Svalbard seeds posted here. So this article is a follow-up to that as an attempt to solve some of those doubts.

As one of our readers rightly pointed out, the Svalbard seed vault has been jointly funded by financial bigwigs like Bill Gates and Agrochemical giants such as Syngenta and Monsanto. Other investors include Rockefeller, and of course the Government of Norway. The Svalbard seed vault started as an attempt to solve food shortage and ensure seed preservation in case of a major catastrophic event. The very fact that it has more than 4 million seed samples raises the question: Since genetic modification has become an integral part of the world’s seed supplies, are the seeds in the vault genetically modified?

A bit of a premise for readers who are unfamiliar with the Svalbard Doomsday seed vault:

  • Svalbard doomsday seed vault was established a few decades ago to preserve world’s natural food diversity should a calamity of massive proportions strike. Today, it is officially owned and administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food on behalf of the Kingdom of Norway.
  • The Nordic Gene Bank maintains the vault’s public online database which you can view here. An International Advisory council has also been appointed to oversee the facility.
  • Svalbard was mainly chosen because of its very cold climate and permafrost that will likely maintain the samples should air conditioning fail.
  • The Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) has been supporting the operational costs of the vault.

Why has Svalbard seed vault come under the scrutiny of activists?

There are a number of reasons why Svalbard seed vault has come under the scrutiny of activists and these have nothing to do with the conspiracy theories surrounding doomsday and end of the world (SHTF) events.

  • There are 10 multinational corporations heavily investing in genetically modified crop and seed technology which are controlling nearly 49% of the world seed market.
  • Food varieties are getting extinct. Take the example of the apple seed -of the original 7000 varieties in the 1800s, today less than 100 remain.
  • In China, over 90% of the wheat cultivated a century ago has disappeared.
  • If experts are to be believed, half of the world’s food/seed varieties have disappeared.
  • This is what is highly interesting: The GCDT or the Global Crop Diversity Trust that is maintaining the vault has publicly claimed that its main aim for the seed vault is to ensure conservation of crops and availability of crop diversity across the world. However, the Trust is openly linked to connections, companies and foundations whose vision of food security includes increased use of pesticides and patented GMOs.
  • Bill Gates Foundation also has close working ties with Monsanto –in 2006, the Foundation hired former VP of Monsanto as their senior Program Director for their International Agriculture Development Program. Read more about the ties between Bill Gate Foundation and Monsanto here.
  • Another issue concerning activists is the fact that DuPont Pioneer seeds and Syngenta have both donated to the GCDT. Both these companies together own nearly 25% of world’s commercial seeds and are also leaders and pioneers in the plant genetic and agro-biotechnology field. Moreover, these companies are not particularly known for their altruistic concerns and the very diversity they are claiming to preserve by donating to GCDT is what they have been destroying for years through genetic engineering.

The most obvious answers to these questions pertaining to their involvement in the vault are: by controlling this Global seed vault, these chemical giants are further trying to gain control over the world’s plant seed genetics. A legal memorandum has also confirmed this for a fact that the agreement between Svalbard and these chemical corporations is to create a beneficial arrangement for the latter. It won’t be too surprising if we discover that the seed samples in the vault are GMO.

This treaty (the legal agreement) between the Vault and seed suppliers is highly complex and fraught with difficult nitty-gritty of International Laws. In the meantime, the GCDT is trying to acquire more samples from local collectors most of who have no idea what is going to happen to their seed samples. For further reading on the results of the damage that such local usurping of seeds by Svalbard advocates - click here.


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  1. DoctorV PhD October 12, 2015

    Clarification on my previous comment.

    I was not suggesting that the seed bank not save the “intermediates” (as I put it) . I was making the point that counting every intermediate as a distinct variety whose “extinction” marks some great loss of biodiversity is not an accurate or useful portrayal of the situation .

  2. DoctorV PhD October 12, 2015

    There are quite a few feats of logical acrobatics in this article .
    Regarding the decrease in seed diversity:
    First; how many of the " original 7000 varieties " of apple were the product of modification? There are only really a small number of “original” apples, none of them are anything you would want to eat or even recognize as an apple by todays standards. This small number of “original” apples were cross bred and selectively harvested over time to create the varieties we see today. Along the way, there were many transitional varieties that, for whatever reason, were not cultivated once a better variety was bred . Where are you drawing your line? Is it so tragic that varieties that were brought into existence through human intervention were also eliminated via those same interventions? Has the world really lost anything ? So really, lets look at how many lineages of apple have disappeared. What I mean here is this : If some apple farmer 200 years ago said “I want to improve this apple” and we fast forward today , the progeny of that original farmers apple is still around today… then lets just save the original and the end result. Those varieties that came about along the way were just intermediates. BTW… today we don’t need 200 years 7000 intermediates and countless acres of apple orchards dedicated to finding the ONE good variety out of thousands of duds because we have biotechnology that allows us to eliminate that wasteful, time consuming process.

    The same reasoning applies to the wheat etc. I’ll also point out that , in agriculture varieties of plants and animals cease to exist EVERY day. This is not a tragic thing. You don’t call those extinction events because they were simply variations of species that still exist. Every little crappy hybrid crop, flock of chickens, or herd of sheep that some farmer decided to “try out” doesn’t stick around indefinitely.

    Besides, in the interest of repopulating the world after a cataclysmic event, don’t you want ALL seeds and varieties represented in the vault? What if the only corn capable of surviving the zombie wasteland is a GMO variety. Do you think its responsible to exclude these seeds from the vault just because you don’t see any value in them today? Isn’t that precisely the type of logic that we should be avoiding when planning for the distant future?

    Finally, this shill gambit business has to stop. Really ! Why is it significant that a former monsanto exec is now making policy in the government or working for some non-profit or donating money to a charity? Do you honestly think that someone changing jobs constitutes a link? How often have you changed jobs then (A) went to a new role that had NOTHING to do with all of the expertise that you gained from your previous job and (B) spent any significant amount of time trying to do things specifically to benefit your old employer?

    Wouldn’t you expect that someone hired to run a large agriculture business should have some kind of previous experience running at least a medium to large agriculture business? Doesn’t it make perfect sense that someone that excelled in a career running an agricultural business would be qualified to make agricultural policy . Doesn’t that persons real world experience in agriculture make them an excellent resource? Would you rather have someone making policy that has NO actual experience? Where does one get the experience to run a large organization focused on improving/preserving/maintaining agricultural standards get the experience to do that job well that doesn’t also make them a SHILL?

    Why would a FORMER Monsanto exec go into their new job and still be working to make Monsanto profitable? Doesn’t it make more sense that they hired the most qualified person they could find and that person happened to be a former Ag.Business leader? Are you claiming that this person is a CURRENT Monsanto exec as well as working for Bill Gates? Are you claiming that there was a deal struck in a dark smoky room in which both companies decided to position strategically position this employee to assure that they would achieve global extinction of food crops? Were they clever enough to pull this off but dumb enough to not realize that putting the VP in that position may show their hand a little to obviously? Why wouldn’t they just have that same clandestine meeting then hire a relatively unknown person to do their evil bidding ?


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