Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

The Global Seed Vault - Svalbard

Photo by Landbruks /CC BY 2.0

Seed vaultThis seed vault, in Norway, some 800 miles above the Arctic Circle, and opened by the Norwegian Government in 2008, contains seeds from around the globe - original and diverse species, not genetically modified seeds (GMO). Seeds of essential food crops such as beans, wheat, barley and rice are stored here.

Seeds are being withdrawn from this vault today - September 25, 2015 - because the conflict in Syria has damaged seeds stored in a Syrian seed bank near Aleppo. Because of the conflict, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDIA) no longer has access to the Syrian seeds, to give to farmers who request them.

Photo credit: AquaBounty Technologies

SalmonThe Doomsday Vault was intended to protect the planet from catastrophic loss of seed crop diversity. We thought it would be loss from natural disasters. But man-made disasters like war and monetary considerations and fundamentalism seem to work just as well.

There is no similar vault for salmon. So if the genetically modified AquAdvantage™ salmon get loose from their farms into the wild, for better or worse, there will be no going back.

Just a point to ponder...

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