Unauthorised or undeclared GMOs in animal feed
Even though Switzerland prohibits the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment for non-scientific purposes, products that contain them may be imported. Four genetically modified varieties of corn and soybean may be used in Switzerland, but they must be declared. Imported products are also controlled by various agencies. Products that contain more than 0.9% authorised GMOs must be labelled as “genetically modified”. The percentage of products containing unauthorised or undeclared GMOs reflects the difficulty in introducing GMO-free products on the market. It also provides an indication of the likelihood that GMOs are present in Switzerland's environment.
The figures shown here apply only to livestock feed. The regular controls performed by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) show that only a fraction of the controlled livestock feed gives rise to claims. An authorised GMO level of over 0.9% must be reported. During the controls performed by the FOAG between 2001 and 2017, the percentage of livestock feed that was incorrectly reported or too heavily contaminated varied between 0 and 2%. Since the percentage of non-compliant samples has been under 1% in the last 6 years, the legal compliance of the livestock feed on the market is considered to be guaranteed. Therefore, its state is assessed as positive. Due to the fluctuation of this rate during the period considered, it is impossible to assess the trend.
In the European Union, the analysis methods are standardised. This guarantees that comparisons can be made with EU countries.
Samples of livestock feed are analysed at the molecular level to detect the presence of genetically modified DNA. The methods are continuously adjusted to keep them on the cutting edge of technology and adapt them to existing products on the market.