ARCHE NOAH was founded 26 years ago. The careful, protective handling of seeds and the protection of the diversity of agricultural crop has been the focus of the charitable association ever since. More than 15,000 members, patrons, and partners who invest money and ideas in the mission of maintaining the diversity of agricultural crop support ARCHE NOAH.
How does ARCHE NOAH see the issue genetically modified organisms and patents on food and seeds?
How does ARCHE NOAH see the issue GMOs (genetically modified organisms)?
ARCHE NOAH acts as part of the NGO coalition of IG-Saatgut* (community of interests for seeds), which advocates for seeds that are free of gene modifications. Genetically unmodified seeds tend to be under threat, given that the EU Commission has tried to weaken the zero-tolerance stance with regard to GMO contamination. The so-called new cultivation techniques (such as agro-infiltration, CRISPR/Cas, ODM etc) constitute another risk, because unless they are classified as gene technology, they are not traceable. This would gradually lead to a situation where seeds could not be kept free of gene modifications any longer.
ARCHE NOAH focuses on a participatory approach to cultivation and cooperates with organic businesses, both when it comes to keeping and developing “old species”. This is important, because the better these plants are suited for cultivation today, the higher their chance of survival. These businesses grow selected plants on their fields in agreement with the seed archive and other project partners. The plants are documented, evaluated, and seed bearers are selected and multiplied on the basis of certain features such as robustness, taste, and colour. This approach helps develop and strengthen distinctive features of species over the years. At the moment the main focus is on tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, peppers, as well as on the revival of very rare crops such as the bulbous chervil and the rampion bellflower.
More answers can be found in our interview:
ESG-Letter: Interview with ARCHE NOAH