Switzerland will vote on measures to ban synthetic pesticides on Sunday, following a divisive campaign that has destroyed the beautiful image of quiet Swiss Alpine landscapes.
The Swiss are also voting on a number of controversial topics, including anti-terrorism legislation and the Covid-19 laws.
Polling stations close at 1000 GMT, with the majority of people voting by mail. The results will be available before the end of the day.
Voters must decide whether to support a Covid-19 law that expands government powers to combat the pandemic and mitigate its societal and economic consequences.
In an election campaign marked by heated debates between farmers, the two anti-pesticide proposals have made the most noise.
The campaign boiled over in the western Vaud region when arsonists torched a trailer in a field displaying banners calling for a “No” vote, infuriating farmers.
Meanwhile farmers in the “Yes” campaign say they have been the victims of insults, threats and intimidation.
The first popular initiative, entitled “For a Switzerland free from synthetic pesticides”, calls for a domestic ban within 10 years, while imported foodstuffs produced using such pesticides would also be outlawed.
Under the second, “For clean drinking water and healthy food”, only farms that do not use pesticides and use antibiotics only to treat sick animals would be eligible for government subsidies.
The amount of liquid manure being used on fields, and thereby potentially entering the water system, would also be limited.
Environmentalists and the political left back both initiatives.
The Swiss government wants a double “No” vote, arguing the proposals would undermine national food sovereignty.
Switzerland is also home to Syngenta, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of plant protection products, which was purchased by the Chinese conglomerate ChemChina in 2017.
Though urban voters are largely in favour, and rural voters seem set to vote “No”, polls indicate that both proposals are likely to be rejected.