Monitoring of genetically modified organisms in the environment

The FOEN ensures a monitoring of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the environment. For that purpose, it carries out surveys and targeted investigations and develops suitable methods to recognise possible hazards to the environment or impairments of biodiversity.

Legal bases

The most important legal provisions concerning GMO monitoring are the following:

  • The FOEN ensures the establishment of a monitoring system (Art. 51 RO).
  • The FOEN carries out surveys (Art. 50 RO).
  • The cantons prescribe control measures for GMOs and measures to prevent their future occurrence. The FOEN coordinates the control measures (Art. 52 RO).
  • Public nature of the information (Art. 54 RO).
  • The containment obligation for genetically modified organisms. The cantons monitor compliance with the duty of care (Art. 23 ContainO).


Assessing and illustrating the status and trends of the environment with a selection of key sizes. With the indicator "Presence of genetically modified rapeseed in the environment" the data from the GMO monitoring are shown and discussed.

Practical recommendations

Federal and cantonal experts drew on many years of experience in establishing the GMO monitoring concept to prepare the following documents, which discuss the monitoring of genetically modified rapeseed, as well as sampling of rapeseed and lucerne. These documents are primarily intended for cantonal authorities.

Further Information

Last modification 15.08.2023

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