Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich-Reckenholz

Environmental Monitoring of Genetically Modified Plants in Switzerland: Development of a conceptual Framework

Besides two field trials in 1991 and 1992, no deliberate releases of genetically modified plants (GMP) have yet been conducted in Switzerland. The use of GM crops in Swiss agriculture is discussed controversially and in contrast to the European Union, commercial cultivation seems unlikely in the near future. Nevertheless, cultivation can not be excluded for the future as novel transgenic crops and their genetic modifications might be of interest to farmers or consumers.Swiss legislation stipulates that cultivation of GM crops must be accompanied by an environmental monitoring programme, which enables for the detection of potential adverse ecological effects of GMPs. Planning and implementation of such a GMP monitoring programme may take several years and therefore the development of a conceptual framework should be initiated as early as possible. The Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL), Reckenholz, Zurich, was assigned by the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL) to analyse the requirements for developing a GMP monitoring programme in Switzerland. In our study we propose a framework, which can be used to develop such a GMP monitoring programme.

To the archive