Farming News - Swiss voters reject pesticide-free farming proposals

Swiss voters reject pesticide-free farming proposals

15 Jun 2021
Agronomy / Frontdesk / Arable

Over 60% of Swiss voters have thrown out a pair of initiatives aiming to ban the use of synthetic pesticides in the country. Many farmers had argued that without pesticides, crop yields would fall, and prices would rise.

After months of heated campaigning, it was a clear “no” on Sunday for the proposals, which would have made Switzerland an organic farming pioneer by becoming the first European country to ban products like artificial weedkillers and fungicides.

The final results showed both initiatives were shot down by virtually the same amount of voters, 60.6% and 60.7% – a symmetry which Lukas Golder of the GfS Bern research institute said pointed towards many “double no” options on ballot sheets.

Not even the predictably higher urban backing managed to make a big difference: although the result was tighter in places like Geneva and Zurich, just one of the 26 Swiss cantons, Basel City, actually produced a majority in favour.

Turnout was high, at just under 60%.