Politics

Enabling what is inevitable
Politics

Enabling what is inevitable

The opponents of progress are once again in the starting blocks. In mid-April, critics of genetic engineering announced a popular initiative aimed at making any relaxation of the existing moratorium on genetic engineering impossible. The exact wording is not yet known, but the statements made by the exponents make it clear that the total blockade on modern plant breeding is to be enshrined in the constitution.

EU decision in favour of new breeding methods with stumbling blocks
Politics

EU decision in favour of new breeding methods with stumbling blocks

On 7 February, the EU Parliament voted in favour of approving the new genomic breeding methods in the EU. MEPs voted in favour of a corresponding proposal by 307 votes to 263 with 41 abstentions. Further deliberations will now follow.

Authorisation of new crop protection products:  federal government hesitates, parliament exerts pressure
Politics

Authorisation of new crop protection products: federal government hesitates, parliament exerts pressure

In Switzerland, the authorisation of new crop protection products is stalling. And there is a disturbing asymmetry. The federal government immediately withdraws authorisations for crop protection products that the EU takes off the market.

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The Federal Council and the new breeding technologies: Too little and too late
Politics

The Federal Council and the new breeding technologies: Too little and too late

It is disappointing what the Federal Council announced in a media release on 25 October 2023 on the subject of new genetic methods. Both in terms of content and timing, the government is putting on the brakes. The dithering is incomprehensible.

Arguments for new breeding technologies
New Breeding Technologies Politics

Arguments for new breeding technologies

Plant breeding is complex. Accordingly, there are many questions in the discussion surrounding new breeding methods. swiss-food.ch has compiled the most important questions and answers on new breeding technologies.

Proven innovation protection and continued freedom for breeders
Patents Politics

Proven innovation protection and continued freedom for breeders

No European country applies for more patents per capita than Switzerland. Patent protection is a mandatory prerequisite for research and development, a foundation of Swiss welfare.

Questions about solidarity in agricultural production remain open
Politics

Questions about solidarity in agricultural production remain open

The war between Russia and Ukraine threatens the global food supply. Security of supply is also becoming an issue in Switzerland. In the last spring session, parliamentarians from various parties wanted to know from the Federal Council how it intends to react to the changed global food supply situation. The Federal Council's replies do not yet reflect a fundamental reassessment of the situation.

Parliament decides on a change of course in green genetic engineering
Politics

Parliament decides on a change of course in green genetic engineering

According to the National Council, the Council of States has also spoken out in favor of a loosening of the Gene-Tech Moratorium. The Federal Assembly takes the arguments from the scientific community into account with the decision. The opportunities presented by new breeding technologies are greater than the risks. The Federal Council is now called upon to initiate the approval of new breeding methods.

Fighting against genome editing with yesterday’s weapons
Politics

Fighting against genome editing with yesterday’s weapons

The Council of States (upper house of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland) intends to allow genome editing provided that no foreign genetic material is inserted into new plant varieties through this method. The decision is causing consternation among genetic engineering skeptics. But you only have to look at their arguments to see that the opponents of genetic engineering are fighting with yesterday’s weapons.

“Different Rules for Genome Editing Are Welcome”
Politics

“Different Rules for Genome Editing Are Welcome”

The Swiss Federal Council and the National Council of Switzerland want to put new cultivation methods under the existing GMO moratorium. A majority of the SECC-S decided on Tuesday that the cultivation of genome-edited plants is to be permitted subject to requirements. We discussed this decision with Jan Lucht, an expert on biotechnology from scienceindustries.

Swiss farmers can no longer protect their crops
Politics Media

Swiss farmers can no longer protect their crops

There is great uncertainty. Nobody knows how to guarantee the protection of crops in the future. There are hardly any approved active substances available that can be used to fight pests and fungal diseases.

The Federal Council’s obstructionist policy is harming Switzerland
Politics

The Federal Council’s obstructionist policy is harming Switzerland

At the end of June, the Federal Council published a message about the Gene Technology Act. In principle, the existing moratorium is to be extended until the year 2025.

Agricultural initiatives: Counterproposal goes too far
Politics

Agricultural initiatives: Counterproposal goes too far

In an effort to lower the risks of pesticide use, the Economic Affairs Committee of Switzerland’s Council of States has put forward a parliamentary initiative entitled “Reducing the Risks of Pesticide Use.”

Risk management rather than paralysis
Politics

Risk management rather than paralysis

Europe struggles with risk management. Rather than weighing the benefits and risks of technologies, it focuses mainly on a cautious approach.

Inspection report calls pesticide ban into question
Politics

Inspection report calls pesticide ban into question

On 12 December, the federal government announced the ban of the fungicide chlorothalonil – although a report classified two degradation products as «not relevant».