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good_ani.gif (364 bytes)Good News from Swiss

Senate Rejects Moratorium on GM Crops in Switzerland.

GENEVA, June 14 (Xinhua) -

The Swiss Senate has rejected a proposal to introduce a moratorium on the commercial use of genetically modified (GM) plants, local media reported Thursday.

However, it said strict scientific and environmental controls needed to be imposed. The House of Representatives has still to discuss the issue. A majority of 23 against 16 votes in the Senate on Thursday threw out a proposal for a moratorium until 2008 for the release of GM crops in agriculture, forestry and horticulture.

Supporters of the moratorium had argued that more time was needed to assess the possible risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for the environment and mankind. They also denied that a ban would block research or hamper the pharmaceutical and the chemical industry.

The Senate agreed to impose a strict set of restrictions on genetic engineering in the non-human field. The commercial use of GM crops depends on the federal authorities giving their approval. If the law takes effect, environmental groups will have the right to appeal, and foods containing GM ingredients will have to be clearly labelled. These safeguards took into account sufficiently the concerns of critics of genetic engineering.

In other business, the Senate unanimously approved a 10-year ban on the commercial use of genetically engineered animals. The two-day debate highlighted the dilemma facing many of the senators, which is to weigh up the advantages and potential dangers that could result from GMOs. In 1998, Swiss voters turned down a proposal to introduce a wide-ranging ban on GMOs, including a ban on the patenting of animals and plants.

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Bad_ani.gif (361 bytes)Here's the bad news by Croatian news service (HINA)
from June 15


Zagreb, June 15 (Hina)

Croatian Environment Protection and Urban Development Minister Bozo Kovacevic said today he will advocate the parliament adopting a law on banning the exports, use and production of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and products. The law would forbid the use and transport of genetically modified organisms which are used for nutrition, and would be a transitional solution until regulations are passed which will fully regulate the issue, Kovacevic told a news conference after a meeting with representatives of the agriculture, tourism and science ministries and the Zelena Akcija {Green Action] non-governmental organization. Kovacevic announced a campaign "Croatia -- GMO-free Country", which would promote Croatia as a country of health food. The campaign will begin this summer by the setting up of billboards on border crossings. Reporters were told that as of autumn the government would stimulate eco-agricultural producers, and a laboratory for discovering genetically modified foods and seeds would start functioning.

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