The marketing of GM vines in Europe has been officially approved by the EU today.

The adoption of Directive 68/193/EEC on the ‘marketing of material for the vegetative multiplication of vines’ will allow growers to use genetically-modified vines, which environmental organisations believe will threaten biodiversity and the whole culture of European winemaking.

Italian good food organisation Slow Food has been campaigning for several years against the measure, collecting over 200,000 signatures and getting the support of such weighty organisations as the Office International du Vin, the Associazione delle Città del Vino (the Italian Association of Wine Cities).

‘The new legislation marks a defeat for common sense, for Europe’s great wine tradition and for the consumer’s right to decide and choose,’ Slow Food said today.

The group, which publishes the authoritative Gambero Rosso wine guide and lobbies against globalisation and threats to biodiversity, is now calling on Italian wine producers and others to make a stand.

In an emailed press release it asks wine trade organisations to declare their unwillingness to use GMOs in the production of their wines, and abide by a voluntary label code stating whether the wine is GM-free.

It also asks the Associazione delle Città del Vino to demand that its member cities ban the cultivation of GM wines, and it calls on politicians ‘not to go back on their declarations in favour of the current moratorium on GMs.’

Slow Food spokeswoman Alessandra Abbona told decanter.com, ‘Reactions in Italy are growing today. The basic idea is to get producers involved at every level.’

www.slowfood.it

Written by Adam Lechmere14 February 2002