GENEVA, Nov. 27(Xinhuanet)-- Swiss voters approved a proposal calling for a five-year ban on the use of genetically modified organisms(GMOs) in Swiss agriculture.
Exit polls conducted by the gfs Bern polling institute show that 55 percent of voters approving the proposal initiated by environmentalists and consumer groups, and near-final results show almost all the country's 26 cantons backed it, the official website swiss info reported.
The vote on the GMO moratorium comes after parliament passed anew law in 2003, which allows GM crops in Switzerland under certain conditions.
Environmentalists and consumer groups collected necessary signatures to put pressure on politicians and let the electorate have the final say. They argue GMOs are neither in the interest of consumers nor of Swiss farmers, and that a GM-free agriculture is an opportunity for farmers to improve their marketing for natural production methods.
The government, the business community and rightwing parties have all come out against the ban. They say the current law contains enough safety guarantees and a ban could be detrimental to biotechnology research in the country. Enditem