Field trials of genetically modified plants are again conducted in Switzerland from 2014, in order to identify opportunities and limitations of green gene technology. In field experiments with genetically modified plants (GMPs), researchers are studying how these plants behave in the environment, as well as investigating new GMPs for agriculture in terms of the benefits and risks they pose.
As a service for researchers engaged in this work, Agroscope set up an experimental field at the Reckenholz (canton of Zurich) site. To prevent the destruction of the trials through vandalism, a protected experimental site (‘Protected Site') has been set up. As the operator of the Protected Site, Agroscope is responsible for technical security, and ensures agronomic support as well as technical and scientific coordination. Among the technical security measures are perimeter fencing, round-the-clock guarding and surveillance of the experimental field, and an alarm system.
Reference to the setting-up and running of a Protected Site at the Reckenholz site is contained in the Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation for 2013-2016, adopted by the Swiss Federal Councils during their autumn session. A field trial of GMPs took place at the Reckenholz site back in 2008-2010 as part of the National Research Programme ‘Benefits and Risks of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Plants' (NRP 59).