Swissair stated in today’s referendum that they do not want to ban synthetic pesticides and support strengthening police measures against terrorism, despite the warnings issued by the United Nations.
So far, no major countries have banned the use of synthetic pesticides. Only Bhutan announced a few years ago that it wanted to become the world’s first country with “100% biological agriculture”.
The Swiss refused to go that way on Sunday. Switzerland is home to Syngenta, one of the largest producers of phytosanitary products, which was acquired by the Chinese giant ChemChina in 2017.
The final voting result will be announced in the evening, but according to the first official result, most states and voters voted against the two initiatives to ban pesticides.
The first proposal called for banning the use of synthetic pesticides and imported foods that use or contain synthetic pesticides within 10 years, but it was rejected by nearly 63% of the vote.
The second proposal was rejected by more than 63% of the votes. The proposal stipulates that government subsidies can only be given to farmers who do not use pesticides and antibiotics and only feed the food produced by the animals themselves.
The government estimates that banning pesticides will damage the country’s food sovereignty.
With more than 58% of the vote, the Swiss support the law on police measures against terrorism, enabling the police to take easier preventive measures against “potential terrorists.”
The police will be able to better monitor them, restrict their movements, and bring them to interrogation from the age of 12.
Suspects 15 years and older will be able to be placed under house arrest for nine months, subject to court approval.
Opponents on the left believe that the law does not respect fundamental rights and human rights. The United Nations and some legal experts and human rights activists have warned against this.
The UN rapporteur on torture, Niels Melzer, said: “From now on, Switzerland will have the world’s most unprofessional, most ineffective, and most dangerous anti-terrorism law. This is a great way for Switzerland as a country under the rule of law. Shame.”
“With this law, Switzerland has an inaccurate definition of terrorism and paves the way for arbitrary police action. The spread of fear with political intent has been regarded as terrorism, although no threat of violence or crime has been detected,” Patrick Wall De said, Amnesty International’s Swiss campaign director.
The government guarantees that basic rights will be guaranteed and warns that de-radicalization plans are not enough.
The authorities said that although the country has not been hit by jihadist attacks like other parts of Europe, the threat is still “high”.