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Australian wines given Greenpeace rating

About 300 Australian wines from about 50 wineries have been given a ‘green light’ in a guide aimed at helping drinkers buy wines free of genetically-modified material.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific yesterday launched the first Alcoholic Drinks edition of its True Food Guide.

The Guide rates food and beverage companies by their policies and actions to exclude GM material from their products.

The Guide, which also includes beers and spirits, gives a ‘green’ rating to GM-free products and a ‘red’ rating to those which may contain GM-derived ingredients.

Although no Australian wines are on the ‘red’ list, a Greenpeace spokesperson said that not all necessarily were GM-free.

The release of the list follows the production for several years of a list of green-rated and red-rated food products sold in supermarkets.

Greenpeace compiles its lists by asking producers whether or not they use GM-free ingredients. It gives a ‘red’ listing to those which say they do use them, or to those which repeatedly refuse to answer.

Greenpeace claims most Australian winemakers, distillers and brewers are responding to consumer concerns by removing GM-derived ingredients from their products.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia has for the past six years maintained a policy that no genetically modified organism be used in Australian wine production.

‘Nature does it so beautifully so why would you want to change anything?’ said Cullen Wines’ managing director, Vanya Cullen, who took part in the launch.

De Bortoli winemaker Rob Glastonbury said, ‘Aside from the unknowns in the use of GM products, the concept that the food chain can be tied up in patents or intellectual property rights is repugnant.’


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Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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