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Cabinet calls for GMO-free agriculture

The government has come out in favour of extending a ban on genetically modified organisms (GMO) in agriculture until 2013.

Voters approved a five-year blanket ban in a nationwide ballot in 2005, but research remains permitted. Parliament is to debate the government proposal.

The Federal Environment Office said the current moratorium had had no adverse impact on farming or research in Switzerland, and Swiss agriculture could benefit from its GMO-free status.

Results of a national research programme into genetically modified plants are expected by 2012.

Leading farmers’ organisations, environmental and consumer groups support the government’s policy on GMOs, according to the authorities.

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