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Increasing opposition against gene-technology in agriculture

There is growing opposition against genetic engineering in agriculture. A survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) shows just under three quarters of people interviewed rejected genetically-modified products in Swiss agriculture.

There is growing opposition against genetic engineering being used in agriculture. According to a survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), just under three quarters of people interviewed rejected genetically-modified products being created in Swiss agriculture.

Over one third of those asked said genetic engineering should not be used in medicine.

The WWF claimed there were no regional or party-political divisions within the ranks of the critics of genetic-engineering. Of a thousand people questioned throughout whole of Switzerland, 73 per cent spoke out against gene-technology being employed on farms. Two years ago, only 59 per cent took this line.

The proportion of those who reject genetic-engineering being used for medical purposes has increased from 12 per cent in the last survey to 33 per cent in the recent results.

In western parts of Switzerland, which has traditionally been rather supportive of technical innovations, the WWF figures show 68 per cent of people were against genetic-engineering in agriculture, based on the survey.

In terms of the political spectrum, over 80 per cent of those on the left-wing are opposed to genetic-engineering, compared to 73 per cent in the centre and 61 per cent right-of-centre.

In geographical breakdown, 71 per cent of town and city dwellers said "no" to genetic engineering. That compares with 75 per cent of the countryside's population being opposed.

According to the WWF's latest survey, 76.7 per cent of German-speaking and 77.2 per cent of French-speaking Switzerland support an initiative calling for a moratorium on genetic engineering in farming.

swissinfo with agencies

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