French Wine to Be Modified Genetically

May 19, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

GENETICALLY MODIFIED?: France will allow experimental GM vineyards. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)
GENETICALLY MODIFIED?: France will allow experimental GM vineyards. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS—The French Ministry of Agriculture announced on May 18 that it would authorize a genetically modified (GM) vineyard for experimentation.

Interviewed by RMC radio, Minister Bruno Le Maire said the vineyard would be tested in the Alsace region, in eastern of France “for four or five years to obtain results.” As a second step to the field–testing “there will be a new procedure to see if we can use this kind of culture. … We should not have a past-oriented vision of agriculture.”

According to the minister, “This decision, taken in agreement with Jean-Louis Borloo [the Ecology minister], is accompanied by all necessary guarantees. We have to understand that the future of agriculture will be based on our research and innovation.”

European member of Parliament and sustainable development activist Jose Bove considered the decision to be heading in the wrong direction. “I think it is a bad decision. In the whole wine-growing industry no one wants the GM yards. It is therefore a very bad idea to authorize field-testing in Alsace,” quoted Le Figaro newspaper.