seed bank, GMO


This paper examines the importance of preserving plant biodiversity through the use of genetic seed vaults, and how effective global legal and regulatory plans aimed at such preservation are in comparison to approaches being undertaken in the United States. An example of such initiatives, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, is meant to act as a global back up for other nation’s seed vaults. However, Norway’s laws do not allow for genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”) to be imported, including seeds from genetically modified plants. The United States needs to make sure that domestic vaults are protected by proper regulations because its agricultural economy relies heavily on GMOs. This ensures the viability of seeds, which feed both the nation’s economy and people. By taking advantage of established international initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the United States would obtain access to funds for seed conservation projects and networks of information from the international scientific community. This means the resources the United States would have to expend on these conservation efforts could be largely reduced, while simultaneously achieving increased food security and biodiversity conservation.