Seeds, Genetic Engineering, and Our Future

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Last week, in the frozen north of Norway, the seeds began to pour into the Global Seed Vault — the "doomsday vault," some have called it. Five hundred feet of a super-secure cave in an Arctic mountainside is filling now with millions of seeds from all over the world.

As climate change and genetic engineering put new pressures on the traditional spectrum of natural seed, scientists want to preserve an archive, a bank, that could pull us out of a pinch.

This hour, On Point: our food, our options, our genetics, and the global debate over the future of the seed of life.Guests:

Claire Hope Cummings, environmental journalist, lawyer, and author of "Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds."

Michael Fromm, professor and director for the Center of Biotechnology at the University of Nebraska.

Ola Westengen, operations manager of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and a scientist with the Nordic Genetic Resource Center.

This program aired on March 6, 2008.


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