Eidgenössische Ethikkommission für die Biotechnologie im Ausserhumanbereich EKAH

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Homepage  >  Cartagena Protocol  >  National Decisions


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National Decisions relevant to the Cartagena Protocol

An overview on Swiss decisions and declarations, which are relevant in the framework of the Cartagena Protocol, can be found below.

Specifically relevant are the following categories of decisions and reports on:

  • decisions on GMOs under the Advance Informed Agreement (AIA), which applies to the first intentional transboundary movement of GMOs for intentional introduction into the environment of the party of import
  • decisions on GMOs for food, for feed or for processing under Article 11 of the Cartagena Protocol
  • other decisions and declarations (decisions concerning transit, unintentional or illegal transboundary movement, decisions on import or release, taken prior to entry into force of the Protocol) and
  • Risk Assessment Reports carried out to evaluate the potential adverse effects of GMOs on biodiversity and human health.

Decisions according to the AIA-mechanism:

Switzerland has not yet issued decisions according to the AIA mechanism of the Cartagena Protocol.

Decisions according Article 11 of the Cartagena Protocol:

Article 11.4 of the Cartagena Protocol: A Party may take a decision on the import of living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing, under its domestic regulatory framework that is consistent with the objective of this Protocol.

Three genetically modified maize varieties and one genetically modified soy variety are currently authorised as food and animal feed in Switzerland:





Soja 40-3-2
"Roundup Ready"
Monsanto (Suisse) SA

Application 19.07.1996

Authorisation 20.12.1996

Renewal application 22.08.2001

Authorisation renewed 31.10.2002

Renewal application 12.12.2006


(Germany) GmbH

Application 16.03.1998

Authorisation 27.07.2000

Renewal application 01.07.2005



Maize Bt11
International AG

Application 29.07.1997

Authorisation 14.10.1998

Renewal application 09.07.2003


Maize Bt176 
"NaturGard KnockOut"
International AG

Application 01.11.1996

Authorisation 06.01.1998

Renewal application 27.06.2002


Further information about genetically modified food or feed is available in German, French or Italian on the website of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO.ico_extern

Marketing of GMOs

Marketing of GMOs requires a federal licence. There is a moratorium until 27 November 2013 on cultivating GMOs in agriculture, silviculture or horticulture. This time-limited ban was approved by popular referendum 27.11.2005 and prolonged from Swiss Parliament for three more years on 18.3.2010.

Further information on legal bases and competences.ico_extern

Experimental releases of GMOs in Switzerland

The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) is responsible for issuing licences to release GMOs for experimental purposes. The Release Ordinance (Art. 7-11, 17-19, 22, 36-41 RO) regulates this procedure. So far six applications were submitted and assessed:

Relevant publications from the Federal Office fort he Environment FOEN

Publications not available in English include English summaries.

Last updated on: 17.01.2018

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