Updates + Overviews

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National: Switzerland has a moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GM crops and on animals. In November 2005, the majority of the Swiss population (55.7%) and all cantons voted in a referendum, to prohibit the use of genetically modified animals and plants in Swiss agriculture for a period of five years. In March 2010 the Swiss Parliament extended its ban on the cultivation of genetically modified plants for another three years until November 2013. In 2012 the Swiss Parliament voted for a second extension of the moratorium until December 2017. At the end of 2015, the Federal Council proposed an extension of the moratorium for a further four years. In June 2017, Parliament confirmed this extension of the cultivation ban until the end of 2021.

In 2021, the moratorium has been precautionary extended by the National Council with widespread, cross-party support for another 4 years, meaning until the end of 2025, reflecting the wary Swiss public opinion on the topic of GMOs. Even though the Council of States still must confirm the definite extension, the acceptance is considered certain. The extension of the moratorium does not prohibit research on GMO, on the basis of which a more informed decision can be made in 2025. Over the next four years, the Federal Council is mandated to clarify questions regarding the coexistence of traditional and GMO-based agriculture, present a risk assessment, and provide answers to the question of responsibility in the event of contamination by GMOs.

Since the beginning of GMO, several cantons and regions have already declared themselves GMO free, other regional initiative are pending. More information about the moratorium in Switzerland (German). Prolongation du moratoire (French). 

(Updated in October 2021. Information provided by BIODYNAMIC FEDERATION DEMETER INTERNATIONAL and the Swiss alliance Gentechfrei SAG.)  


Seven cantons and two regions have declared themselves GMO free (for the moment no legal status but only political) : Canton Ticino, Canton Jura, Canton Genève, Canton Neuchâtel, Canton Bern, Canton Appenzell (in woodland areas), Canton Fribourg, region Oberes Suhrental (AG) and region Wägital. 

84 municipalities have declared themselves GMO-free:
AG: Baldingen, Böbikon, Kirchleerau, Moosleerau, Reitnau, Rekingen, Rothrist, Wiliberg 
BE: Grafenried, Prêles, Rebévelier, Renan 
BL: Arlesheim, Binningen, Bottmingen, Ettingen, Münchenstein, Muttenz, Oberwil, Pfeffingen, Reinach, Therwil 
FR: Barberêche, Botterens, Broc, Courtepin-Courtaman, Granges-Paccot, Kleinbösingen, Morlon, Murist, Pont-en-Ogoz 
GE: Cologny 
GL: Betschwanden, Glarus, Haslen, Leuggelbach, Linthal, Luchsingen, Riedern, Rüti 
JU: Soyhières 
LU: Egolzwil, Horw, Kriens, Luzern, Meggen, Ufhusen, Wauwil 
NE: Cernier, Chézard-St-Martin, Engollon, Les Planchettes, Savagnier, Valangin 
SO: Brügglen, Dulliken, Hauenstein-Ifenthal, Hüniken, Rohr b. Olten, Starrkirch-Wil 
SZ: Gersau, Ingenbohl-Brunnen, Innerthal, Tuggen, Vorderthal 
VD: Aclens, Bellerive, Bournens, Chavannes-le-Veyron, Colombier-sur-Morges, Cuarnens, Dizy, Ferreyres, Grens, L'Isle, Marchissy, Mauraz, Prahins, St-George 
VS: Geschinen ( im Oberwallis), Isérables, Münster-Geschinen, Riederalp ( im Oberwallis) 
ZG: Neuheim

(Updated in April 2016 Information provided by SAG Schweizer Allianz Gentechfrei)


Lucern, April 2009
Herbert Karch, Swiss Working Group for Genetic Engineering (SAG)
Presentation: GMO-free Switzerland (pdf, English)
Swiss Moratorium

Bonn, May 2008GMO-free by democratic vote (Audio File, mp3, 4MB, German), Maya Graf, Swiss Parliament & GM moratorium initiative Switzerland