A particularly active debate on biotechnology is taking place in Switzerland. Dr Martin Schrott from the Swiss Federal Health Office looks at the current legal framework in the food sector. As with conventional foods, the state has two primary duties concerning foods made from genetically modified organisms (GMO): to protect public health and to protect the consumer against deception. Health protection is assured by the obligatory authorisation procedure, while deception is prevented by a comprehensive labelling law. Supervision by state authorities ensures compliance with these regulations.