Survey on extending the moratorium on gene technology
On behalf of swiss-food.ch, gfs.bern polled the views of 1,010 Swiss voters on extending the moratorium on gene technology. A clear majority supports an extension. The question of whether genome editing should be included in the moratorium cannot be unequivocally answered.
Although genome editing arouses caution among voters in an initial assessment, the majority agree that a general ban is not sensible and that use-based bans or authorisations make more sense. For this purpose, international experience should be used and authorisation should be possible if a genome-edited plant is demonstrably no different from a conventionally bred plant. Nevertheless, a majority also thinks that we can continue to wait until the state of knowledge is better.
The applications with genome editing that receive the most approval are those that focus on the fact that with genome-edited plants fewer pesticides or plant protection products need to be used, or if native vegetables and regional fruits can be better protected as a result. While these applications are clearly convincing, the application to decaffeinated coffee is rejected by a majority.