SWISS EASE IMPORT BARRIER FOR GENE-MODIFIED SEEDS
June 5, 2000 Reuters © 2000


BERNE -- Switzerland was cited as saying on Monday it was easing import
barriers for genetically modified seeds and environmentalists said the
decision would  open the floodgates to altered foodstuffs.
The government was cited as saying it had decided to allow a tolerance
level of 0.5 percent for genetically modified seeds such as maize, soja,
rape and sugarbeet due to the "inevitable contamination" of such seeds with
gene-modified varieties.

This means that five out of a thousand seeds in a batch imported as conventional seeds could in fact be GMO seeds.

It said the environment was fully protected by the new tolerance because the
rule only applied to imports from countries that had GMO and environmental
rules comparable to Switzerland. The limit would also only apply for those GMOs allowed in Switzerland for food and animal feed.

Note: The story says that Switzerland imports from 75 to 100 percent of its seeds.

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