Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Greenpeace audits wine trade for GM grapes

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

GREENPEACE has been asking for assurances from UK drink retailers that they are not and will not be selling wines made from genetically modified grapes. Andy Tait, a campaigner in Greenpeace's genetic engineering team, confirmed to Harpers that it had sent letters asking for assurances, following a report that grapes are being genetically modified in California. He said: "Californian wine is imported on a large scale and we want to know what people in the trade feel. We want to know what the interest and intentions of the trade would be. Consumers have rejected further release of GM products into the environment and we hope the trade will reject them as well. Ironically, California has an awfully large organic industry." A spokesman for First Quench confirmed that the company had been contacted by Greenpeace. He said that the company was not aware of any of the products it sells containing GM ingredients. He said the company requires its suppliers to inform it if they are contemplating using GM products. John McLaren, UK director, Wine Institute of California, told Harpers: "The Californians tend to be pragmatic. If GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are going to be the future, they want to be ahead of the game. GMOs did not get the same reaction in America, it was more this could be the next greatest step forward' rather than Frankenstein's food'." McLaren said that as far as he is aware, all of the experimentation is either laboratory or greenhouse - not vineyard - based.