Rabu, 04 Juni 2014

MindBullets: News from the Future

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Loss of 30 billion hectoliters blamed on biodynamic farmers
Dateline: April 2017
Emmanuel Giboulot remains unrepentant. "I do not see how refusing to use harmful pesticides is a bad thing. I refuse to support the profits of corporations when our health is at risk from these toxins."
That was in February 2014, when he was found guilty of refusing to spray pesticides against the spread of leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, believed to be responsible for the grapevine disease flavescence dorée.
Three years later and the French wine industry is devastated.
"Production yields have dropped from 42 million hectoliters in 2014 to only 11.9 hectoliters this year," says Genevieve Du Plooy, a wine analyst at the Paris Institute of Technology. "Flavescence dorée has ruined some of the oldest vineyards in the world. We may never recover."
How did we get here? In August 2014, with hundreds of thousands signing petitions in support of Giboulet, and thousands more coming out in protest - attacking the offices of the Agriculture Ministry, and demanding that the government respect biodynamic agriculture - the French government caved in.
French President Francois Hollande declared: "How can we refuse to support biodynamic farmers when we are ethically opposed to genetically modified crops? We must be consistent. Biodynamic natural foods are the French way."
It turns out that the "French way" has led to the end of an industry. China is now the world's largest wine-maker and their farmers are cheerfully offering this year's Bordeaux-style wines to France.
Published 5 June 2014
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Links to related stories
1. French organic winegrower fined for refusing to spray grapes with pesticide - Anne Penketh, The Guardian, 7 April 2014
2. Faith and Science - Mitch Frank, Wine Spectator, 1 May 2014
3. Five things to know about the global wine industry - Denise Roland, The Telegraph, 30 October 2013
4. The Myth of Biodynamic Agriculture - Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D., Washington State University [PDF]
5. Grapevine flavescence dorée - Pascale Mollier, et al., INRA, 26 March 2013
6. MindBullet: ORGANIC FOOD OFF THE MENU (Dateline 24 July 2016, Published 4 August 2011)
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