Done in secret and no one thought to have their lawyer read the contract ? The journalist aunt never thought to investigate why this free trip and free seed storage had to be done in secret and never followed the money ? You should ask your aunt if one clause in the contract to submit seeds is granting the right of accession to Monsanto and Syngenta as it certainly use to be last time I read the contract , meaning they could access and manipulate the public domain genetics altering them and patenting the genetics of the new product .
I truly question why this clause was in there when Cary Fowler submitted the bulk of genetics Seed Savers Exchange had and how it was not slyly for the benefit of Syngenta and Monsanto along with other parties such as the Norwegian crown government funding the 'free' seed depository . When you read the article words “The seeds inside here are the very foundations of agriculture, past, present and future,” knowing the right of accession might be written into the contract gives it a whole new twist don't you think?
Some interesting comment on biopiracy related to this subject :
Article 7 of the depositors agreement deals with the rights to accession :
So this may seem innocent enough but puts massive seed collections worldwide into the hands of the likes of Monsanto ( as one of the funding contributors to the seed vault) granting them rights to modify public domain genetic materials and patent the resulting new biological organisms genetics . At this time we are foreseeing dwindling biodiversity and i have a hard time imagining Monsantos involvement being for the greater good .