Precarious situation for potato farmers
Media

Precarious situation for potato farmers

Potato farmers in Switzerland are sounding the alarm. Due to all the rain, late blight is spreading and destroying their harvest. There is talk of disastrous conditions or a "fateful year" for Swiss potatoes. 300 hectares of potato fields have already had to be abandoned - and more could follow. In the meantime, the federal government has also drawn the first conclusions.

How can biodiversity be protected effectively?
Knowledge

How can biodiversity be protected effectively?

Biodiversity is essential to life. And it is currently a very topical issue. The obligation to set aside areas of Swiss farmland for biodiversity promotion has clearly not achieved the desired objectives. Recently published studies indicate that species diversity remains under pressure. This is what prompted swiss-food, in the latest of its series of talks with three established experts, to focus on the tensions between biodiversity and agriculture and to shed some light on the reasons for these.

Will this field trial revolutionise barley production?
Media

Will this field trial revolutionise barley production?

Switzerland's first field trial using plants from new breeding technologies will start this spring in Zurich. Specifically, the aim is to breed a spring barley that produces more grains per ear. If the trial works, the technology is likely to be of great interest to Swiss agriculture.

«Plant breeding calls for liberal rules»

Jürg Niklaus

Jürg Niklaus

Jürg Niklaus has a doctorate in law and is an advocate of plant breeding.

More pesticides, more genetic engineering: How we are overcoming hunger.

Markus Somm

Markus Somm

Journalist, publicist, publisher and historian

«What plant breeding brings us»

Achim Walter

Achim Walter

Professor of Crop Science, ETH Zurich

Content in German

«The fear of genetically modified plants is unwarranted»

Anke Fossgreen

Anke Fossgreen

Head of Knowledge Team Tamedia

«Politicians must avoid pushing prices up even more»

Babette Sigg Frank

Babette Sigg Frank

President of the Swiss Consumer Forum (KF)

Seizing the opportunity of green biotechnology

Roman Mazzotta

Roman Mazzotta

Country President Syngenta Switzerland

«Sustainability means more»

Hendrik Varnholt

Hendrik Varnholt

Journalist at Lebensmittel Zeitung

«One-third organic farming does not solve the problem»

Olaf Deininger

Olaf Deininger

Development Editor-in-Chief Agrar-Medien

«Plant breeding calls for liberal rules»

Jürg Niklaus

Jürg Niklaus

Jürg Niklaus has a doctorate in law and is an advocate of plant breeding.

More pesticides, more genetic engineering: How we are overcoming hunger.

Markus Somm

Markus Somm

Journalist, publicist, publisher and historian

«What plant breeding brings us»

Achim Walter

Achim Walter

Professor of Crop Science, ETH Zurich

Content in German

«The fear of genetically modified plants is unwarranted»

Anke Fossgreen

Anke Fossgreen

Head of Knowledge Team Tamedia

«Politicians must avoid pushing prices up even more»

Babette Sigg Frank

Babette Sigg Frank

President of the Swiss Consumer Forum (KF)

Seizing the opportunity of green biotechnology

Roman Mazzotta

Roman Mazzotta

Country President Syngenta Switzerland

«Sustainability means more»

Hendrik Varnholt

Hendrik Varnholt

Journalist at Lebensmittel Zeitung

«One-third organic farming does not solve the problem»

Olaf Deininger

Olaf Deininger

Development Editor-in-Chief Agrar-Medien

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Myths & Facts

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From the media

Precarious situation for potato farmers
Media

Precarious situation for potato farmers

Potato farmers in Switzerland are sounding the alarm. Due to all the rain, late blight is spreading and destroying their harvest. There is talk of disastrous conditions or a "fateful year" for Swiss potatoes. 300 hectares of potato fields have already had to be abandoned - and more could follow. In the meantime, the federal government has also drawn the first conclusions.

«Organic in this country, banned in the Philippines»
Media

«Organic in this country, banned in the Philippines»

In the Philippines, Greenpeace has obtained a ban on Bt aubergines and golden rice. Incredibly, the same bacteria that the environmental organisation defames as dangerous there is being praised as organic in Switzerland.

«Thousands of children could die»
Media

«Thousands of children could die»

The ban on Golden Rice continues to make waves. More and more scientists are speaking out and denouncing the decision. The talk ranges from "alarming" to "catastrophe" to "dying children".

Clearing house for patent rights: Not in the interests of inventors and food security
Media

Clearing house for patent rights: Not in the interests of inventors and food security

On 22 May 2024, the Federal Council submitted a draft revision of patent law for consultation. A new clearing centre is planned to improve the transparency of patents in the field of plant breeding. While transparency is fundamentally positive, the chosen approach is problematic. Instead of the beneficiaries, it imposes new obligations on innovators and means that Switzerland is going it alone. This is a bad signal for innovative companies.

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Knowledge

How can biodiversity be protected effectively?
Knowledge

How can biodiversity be protected effectively?

Biodiversity is essential to life. And it is currently a very topical issue. The obligation to set aside areas of Swiss farmland for biodiversity promotion has clearly not achieved the desired objectives. Recently published studies indicate that species diversity remains under pressure. This is what prompted swiss-food, in the latest of its series of talks with three established experts, to focus on the tensions between biodiversity and agriculture and to shed some light on the reasons for these.

Why AI has not yet had its breakthrough in agriculture
Knowledge

Why AI has not yet had its breakthrough in agriculture

Artificial intelligence is gaining ground in many areas. However, the new technology does not yet seem to have really arrived in agriculture. The reason for this is nature, which is throwing a spanner in the works of AI. Nevertheless, the opportunities that AI could offer agriculture are immense.

Nutrition: Does the future belong to the green gene scissors?
Knowledge

Nutrition: Does the future belong to the green gene scissors?

New plant varieties contribute to security of supply. The new breeding methods known as "gene scissors", such as Crispr, have the potential to revolutionise agriculture and nutrition.

Regional products are more in demand than ever
Knowledge

Regional products are more in demand than ever

The demand for regional products could hardly be greater. This is shown by a new study by the Zurich School of Business. Consumers even consider regional products to be significantly more sustainable than organic or premium products. To keep up with this trend, it is therefore all the more important to promote modern breeding techniques and plant protection products.

More contributions from Knowledge
Green biotech: safety concerns no longer hold water
New Breeding Technologies

Green biotech: safety concerns no longer hold water

At the end of October, swiss-food.ch hosted a film screening and panel discussion in Zurich on the subject of genome editing entitled “Between Protest and Potential”. The well-attended event dealt with the emotional debates in recent decades surrounding genetic engineering. The event showed that the situation has changed fundamentally.

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Audio & Video

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Politics

In plant breeding the music plays elsewhere
Politics

In plant breeding the music plays elsewhere

Switzerland is a centre of innovation, but unfortunately this promise has not yet been kept when it comes to the more modern methods of plant breeding. Openness would be a good thing for innovative Switzerland here too.

Enabling what is inevitable
Politics

Enabling what is inevitable

The opponents of progress are once again in the starting blocks. In mid-April, critics of genetic engineering announced a popular initiative aimed at making any relaxation of the existing moratorium on genetic engineering impossible. The exact wording is not yet known, but the statements made by the exponents make it clear that the total blockade on modern plant breeding is to be enshrined in the constitution.

EU decision in favour of new breeding methods with stumbling blocks
Politics

EU decision in favour of new breeding methods with stumbling blocks

On 7 February, the EU Parliament voted in favour of approving the new genomic breeding methods in the EU. MEPs voted in favour of a corresponding proposal by 307 votes to 263 with 41 abstentions. Further deliberations will now follow.

Authorisation of new crop protection products:  federal government hesitates, parliament exerts pressure
Politics

Authorisation of new crop protection products: federal government hesitates, parliament exerts pressure

In Switzerland, the authorisation of new crop protection products is stalling. And there is a disturbing asymmetry. The federal government immediately withdraws authorisations for crop protection products that the EU takes off the market.

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Blindspot

Blindspot articles are marked with a small spotlight and illuminate the «blind spots» in the agricultural policy debate.

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Research

Using Crispr to combat climate change
Media Research

Using Crispr to combat climate change

In the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna talks about the opportunities and risks of gene scissors. The tool can be used to specifically treat hereditary diseases, breed drought-tolerant plants and reduce greenhouse gas emis-sions from cows.

Anxious sweat as a cry for help
Media Research

Anxious sweat as a cry for help

Plants live dangerously. They are surrounded by predators. But they are not completely at their mercy. Decades of research have shown this. For example, plants emit odours when attacked. This realisation could lead to new strategies for plant protection. However, it is still uncertain whether this will ever lead to a widely used product.

It pays to take a closer look
Media Research

It pays to take a closer look

Pesticides are to blame for an increase in brain tumours in children in the Zürcher Weinland and the Bernese Seeland, according to a study carried out three years ago. Experts commissioned by the federal government have now come to a different conclusion: the results could also have been accidental.

Global events require adjustments
Research

Global events require adjustments

The Swiss want as much local food as possible on their plates. A desire that is becoming increasingly difficult to fulfil. Farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to protect their harvests. No wonder the level of self-sufficiency is falling.

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