The move, supported by and in the interest of farmers, ecologists and consumer groups will force the government to impose a blanket ban on the cultivation of GMO crops and the import of animals whose genes have been modified in the laboratory. Switzerland voted in favor of a five-year ban on the farming of genetically modified plants and animals. It placed some of the toughest restrictions in Europe.
But, the scientists and the importers need not worry. The moratorium does not apply to research into GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) nor does it stop the import of genetically modified food. Its supporters say the victory is a clear signal that Swiss consumers and farmers are in favor of GM-free food and produce, at a time when traditional Swiss farms are under threat from cuts in agricultural subsidies.