Genetically modified crops and their significance for sustainable agriculture in Switzerland
The Swiss parliament voted to prolong a moratorium on the commercial use of GM crops, set to end in 2013, thus ignoring the findings of the National Research Programme 59, which was supposed to be a basis for a new decision.
The research programme, requested by the Federal Council and implemented by the Swiss National Science Foundation, re-confirmed the safety of the commercial use of GM crops and recommended an end to the moratorium. Rejecting the findings, the Swiss government decided to prolong the moratorium.
The Swiss Academies of Sciences have followed up on the rejection with an open letter (in German), signed by the presidents of all four academies, and a new report that strongly criticized that the scientific results of the National Research Programme 59 were practically ignored when parliament voted in favor of the prolongation of the GM moratorium. This started an on-going debate about the relevance of scientific facts for policy-making.
The report "Genetically modified crops and their significance for sustainable agriculture in Switzerland" (in German with a foreward and summary also in English and French) draws on experiences in other countries and has a particular focus on sustainability and potential reduction of spraying.