The “SCNAT knowledge” web portal provides guidance. The Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) and its network report the state of knowledge, based on sound scientific findings and in regards to Switzerland – for the attention of politics, administration, business, science and practice.more

Image: Tobias Günther, SNSF Scientific Image Competitionmore

Precaution in the environmental field. Ethical requirements for the regulation of new biotechnologies

The rapid development of new techniques which allow us to selectively alter genetic material and are thus termed genome editing 1 has sparked public discussion about how such biotechnologies are to be regulated. The considerable potential that the new techniques present, or at least promise, for research and many areas of application also harbours risks. Besides the legal issues involved, there are also fundamental ethical questions to be answered.

ECNH (2018) Precaution in the environmental field.
Image: EKAH / CENH

In the following report, the Federal Ethics Committee on Non- Human Biotechnology (ECNH) looks at the general ethical requirements for regulation of the new procedures and their possible application in the environment.


  • Gene technology
  • Genome editing
  • Provision
English, German, French