Precision breeding – England allows cultivation of gene-edited crops
A regulatory change in England allows the commercial use of new breeding technologies. Until now, these technologies had been regulated in accordance with the same restrictive rules as in the EU. As a result of the new law, English farmers are now allowed to grow crops that have been bred using genome editing. This gives England’s farmers a new tool in the fight against climate change and for more sustainable agriculture.
Genome Editing: Standards are being relaxed all over the world
Great Britain has already decided on its first steps, Switzerland has too: The handling of simple genome-edited plants is being made easier.
Questions about solidarity in agricultural production remain open
The war between Russia and Ukraine threatens the global food supply. Security of supply is also becoming an issue in Switzerland. In the last spring session, parliamentarians from various parties wanted to know from the Federal Council how it intends to react to the changed global food supply situation. The Federal Council's replies do not yet reflect a fundamental reassessment of the situation.
Parliament decides on a change of course in green genetic engineering
According to the National Council, the Council of States has also spoken out in favor of a loosening of the Gene-Tech Moratorium. The Federal Assembly takes the arguments from the scientific community into account with the decision. The opportunities presented by new breeding technologies are greater than the risks. The Federal Council is now called upon to initiate the approval of new breeding methods.
Fighting against genome editing with yesterday’s weapons
The Council of States (upper house of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland) intends to allow genome editing provided that no foreign genetic material is inserted into new plant varieties through this method. The decision is causing consternation among genetic engineering skeptics. But you only have to look at their arguments to see that the opponents of genetic engineering are fighting with yesterday’s weapons.
“Different Rules for Genome Editing Are Welcome”
The Swiss Federal Council and the National Council of Switzerland want to put new cultivation methods under the existing GMO moratorium. A majority of the SECC-S decided on Tuesday that the cultivation of genome-edited plants is to be permitted subject to requirements. We discussed this decision with Jan Lucht, an expert on biotechnology from scienceindustries.
Swiss farmers can no longer protect their crops
There is great uncertainty. Nobody knows how to guarantee the protection of crops in the future. There are hardly any approved active substances available that can be used to fight pests and fungal diseases.
The Federal Council’s obstructionist policy is harming Switzerland
At the end of June, the Federal Council published a message about the Gene Technology Act. In principle, the existing moratorium is to be extended until the year 2025.
Agricultural initiatives: Counterproposal goes too far
In an effort to lower the risks of pesticide use, the Economic Affairs Committee of Switzerland’s Council of States has put forward a parliamentary initiative entitled “Reducing the Risks of Pesticide Use.”
Risk management rather than paralysis
Europe struggles with risk management. Rather than weighing the benefits and risks of technologies, it focuses mainly on a cautious approach.
Test report questions pesticide ban
On 12 December, the federal government announced the ban of the fungicide chlorothalonil - although a test report classified two degradation products as "not relevant".
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