Marketing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

Legal bases and requirements

The legal requirements for marketing GMOs can be found in the corresponding product legislation (product-specific requirements), and in:

Moratorium and coexistence

29.06.2016 - Der Bundesrat hat beschlossen, am Verbot des Anbaus gentechnisch veränderter Organismen (GVO) festzuhalten. Da insbesondere im Hinblick auf die Koexistenz nach wie vor Unsicherheiten und Zweifel bestehen, muss das derzeitige Moratorium bis 2021 verlängert werden. Sollte bei den Konsumentinnen und Konsumenten die Akzeptanz von GVO zunehmen und sich seitens der Landwirtschaft ein reales Interesse abzeichnen, will der Bundesrat indessen einen entsprechenden Gesetzesrahmen ausarbeiten. In seiner am 29.06.2016  verabschiedeten Botschaft an das Parlament schlägt die Landesregierung vor, den Anbau von GVO in spezifischen Gebieten zusammenzufassen.

18.12.2015 - The moratorium has been renewed by the Parliament in the context of discussions about the agricultural policy 2014-2017. The Federal Council plans on prolongating the moratorium until 2021 in order to work out the principles for the protection of production without genetically modified organisms and freedom of choice for the consumers, as well as creating general conditions on how to define regions with GMO production.

01.07.2009 - The Federal Council decided to propose to Parliament an extension of the moratorium to 2013, presenting Dispatch on the amendment to the Gene Technology Act.

27.11.2005 - Marketing of GMOs requires a federal licence. There is a 5-year moratorium to 27 November 2010 on cultivating GMOs in agriculture, silviculture or horticulture. This time-limited ban was approved by popular referendum 27.11.2005 and is set down in Art.197 number 7 of the Federal Constitution.

Competence

Competence for issuing licences and the applicable authorisation procedure depend on the product category (intended use of the GMOs). Competence and procedures are regulated in Article 26 of the Release Ordinance:

Food, additives and processing aids:

Biocidal products:

Medicines:

Immunobiological veterinary medicines:

Animal feed:

Plant protection products:

Fertilisers:

Plant propagation material for forestry:

  • Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN): no authorisations issued as yet
  • Applications should be submitted to: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Biotechnology Section, 3003 Bern, Tel. 058 462 93 49, e-mail: contact.releases@bafu.admin.ch

Plant propagation material for other applications (particularly agriculture):

Other applications:

  • Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN): no authorisations issued as yet
  • Applications should be submitted to: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Biotechnology Section, 3003 Bern, Tel. 058 462 93 49, e-mail: contact.releases@bafu.admin.ch

Authorised products in Switzerland (may 2015)

The following genetically modified organisms are currently authorised in Switzerland:

  • 3 maize varieties and 1 soy variety as food and animal feed
  • 1 vaccine each for cats and horses as Immunobiological veterinary medicines

Further information

Contact
Last modification 20.09.2018

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