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Checkbiotech: Grape (GM) trials given go-ahead in France
Posted by: DR. RAUPP ; madora (IP Logged)
Date: July 22, 2005 07:32AM ; ;

French scientists are to start trials on genetically-modified (GM) vines,
after permission for the project was finally granted by the country's
Agriculture Ministry. Seventy vines will be grown in the experiment, which
will be carried out at a research laboratory in Colmar, Alsace, July 2005
bBy Richard Ross.

The President of the research institute, Jean Masson, made it clear there
was no intention to make GM wine from the vines. To reassure opponents of
the experiments, he said that all flowers on the vines would be removed, to
stop any possible cross-contamination with other vines.

The research will focus on the roots of the vines, and is aimed at finding a
possible solution to fanleaf virus, which stunts the growth of vines and
reduces yields by up to 80%.

An earlier attempt to start these experiments was opposed by an influential
group of producers called 'Terre et Vin du Monde'. Members of the group
include Bordeaux Châteaux such as Latour and Cos d'Estournel, Burgundy
estates like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and Spain's Vega Sicilia.

The agricultural workers' union, the Confederation Paysanne, is also against
the trials, but they are happy that they will, at least, be carried out away
from existing vineyards.


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