Over 60% of Swiss voters have thrown out a pair of initiatives aiming to ban the use of synthetic pesticides in the country.

The “anti-pesticide” initiative had proposed an outright ban on the use of synthetic products for agricultural, private and commercial use, to be implemented within ten years. It also wanted to stop imports produced using such products. The “drinking water” initiative wanted to restrict the payment of government subsidies (worth some CHF3 billion a year) to farmers who work without using pesticides and prophylactic antibiotics. It also wanted to cut down on imports of animal feed. 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.