GM Watch, 22 December 2015



Moratorium expected to remain in place until 2021

The Swiss Federal Council, meeting in Bern on 18 December 2015, has declared that it is in favour of continuing the country’s moratorium on the cultivation of GM plants until 2021.

The Federal Council said it ”has decided to maintain the ban on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The current moratorium should be extended until 2021 under the Gene Technology Act (LGG).”

Currently, GMO cultivation is only permitted in Switzerland for research. The Swiss moratorium has been extended twice and expires in December 2017. Several cantons already have already indicated their interest in an extension of the moratorium and have adopted decisions to ban GM crops on their territory.

The Federal Council also asks that ”principles guaranteeing the protection of conventional crops as well as the free choice of consumers (coexistence) are specified.”

A draft law and a draft ordinance on the issue of coexistence of GM and non-GM crops are also under consultation. The Federal Council notes that “the vast majority of sectors invited to the consultation procedure expressed their opposition to the cultivation of GMOs in Switzerland, at least at present, and have criticized the proposed provisions.”

Thus extending the moratorium will be an opportunity, says the Federal Council, for ”a thorough and objective debate on the future use of GMOs in Swiss agriculture. The discussion should be based on considerations which are not confined to the issue of biosafety, but also take into account the economic and agricultural aspects.”

Source (French): Christophe Noisette, Inf’OGM