Activities in contained systems
Genetically modified, pathogenic and alien organisms are often used in research, such as in the development of new drugs. Since this research takes place in laboratories, greenhouses or production facilities, and the organisms are not released into the environment, they are referred to as activities in contained systems. These activities are carried out under strict safety precautions depending on the risk of the activity, so that the risk of organisms entering the environment is minimal. The number of new notifications of such activities submitted per year is a measure of Switzerland’s attractiveness as a location for research, as well as the number of organisms used in contained systems.
Growth is generally considered to be desirable as it reflects the attractiveness of Switzerland as a location for research. Nevertheless, such a progression goes hand in hand with a growing use of genetically modified, pathogenic or alien organisms, and thus an increased risk of these organisms being released into the environment. However, as this risk has been held in check by security measures, we will not evaluate the current state or the development of this indicator.
Comparable with European reporting procedures under Council Directive 98/81/EC for GMOs.
Activities using genetically modified, pathogenic or alien organisms in contained systems require notification or a licence, in accordance with the Containment Ordinance. Submissions to the authorities are managed centrally by the FOEN (Federal Coordination Centre for Biotechnology) in the ECOGEN database.