Hypocrisy, or Wine, can’t you behave? Part 2

So, biotechnology is bad, it’s “Frankenfood”, it’s unsuitable for human consumption, it poses a grave danger, yada yada.
Except, you know, when the French are trying to develop GM grapevine stock.
The vines to be tested were genetically engineered in a laboratory to be resistant to fanleaf disease virus, which is a significant problem in France’s cooler wine regions and throughout the world. The virus is transmitted by the tiny nematode xiphinema index when it feeds on the roots of infected plants and then on healthy ones. Scientists inserted a gene fragment from the virus into the genome of a healthy grapevine rootstock.
French researchers have been trying to fight fanleaf disease for a long time, said Guy Riba, scientific director for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), a government-run network of research centers. “[INRA] looked for means to fight the virus, and when it didn’t find any, it decided to go after the disease with GMOs,” Riba said.

I’m sure the starving Africans who are denied opportunities to grow GM crops will be very happy at the news.



  1. Al Maviva

    The French already produce GM wine. A great number of their vines were wiped out in a severe blight in the early 19th century. A couple Irish gardeners developed a technique to improve the stock, at times using American vina vinifera to do so. Hence the cognac, “Hennesey.” The only difference between that hybridization and the one the French are seeking to do now, is the techniques will be much more subtle.