Saturday 23rd of August 2014

organic dreams...

 

vines

A French organic winemaker could face a prison sentence and a hefty fine after refusing to spray his vines with pesticide.

Emmanuel Giboulot will appear before a judge in the city of Dijon on Monday after defying an official order to treat his vineyard against an insect suspected of transmitting a devastating plant disease.

The cicadelle, the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, is believed to be responsible for the spread of the grapevine disease flavescence dorée, which has affected vines in the Côte-d'Or region of Burgundy, where Giboulot produces Côte de Beaune and Hautes Côtes de Nuits wines.

Giboulot claims the pesticide is ineffective and damaging to pollinating insects such as bees, and insists the disease can be fought via more natural means.

The 51-year-old is being prosecuted by a branch of the French agriculture ministry, under article 251-20 of the rural code, for "failing to apply an insecticide treatment to his vineyard" in July last year.

The winemaker faces a six-month prison sentence and a €30,000 (£25,000) fine for refusing to spray his vines.

Officials say they have had to pull up 12 hectares (nearly 30 acres) of vines ravaged by the highly infectious flavescence dorée disease in 2012. They say the disease, which first appeared in the 1950s, threatens more than half the Burgundy region's vineyards and that preventative treatment by pesticide is necessary.

Giboulot disagrees. In November he told the website Decanter.com: "I am not irresponsible and I am not trying to be radical. I simply do not believe that systematic treatment, even without any symptoms of the disease, is the solution. I want to show people that there are options, and that we need to think about our own health and that of our customers."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/23/french-organic-winemaker-prison-pesticide

----------------------------------

 

Flavescence dorée (from French "Flavescence" : yellowing and "dorée" : golden) is a bacterial disease of the vine with the potential to threaten vineyards. The bacterial agent has recently been named Candidatus Phytoplasma vitis, and its vector is the leafhopperScaphoideus titanus. Infection may kill young vines and greatly reduce the productivity of old vines.[1] It is classified as a phytoplasma disease belonging to the group generically termed grapevine yellows.[2] Occurrences are in sporadic epidemics, and varieties vary in their sensitivity to it.

There is no cure for the moment and the way to manage the spreading is the uprooting of the infected plants.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavescence_dorée


Picture at top by Gus...

 

 

no cure...

As mentioned in the Wikipedia article, there is no cure for the disease but to uproot the plants (or possibly let the problem extinguish itself which can happen) or remove affected leaves one by one. As a good drinker of average reds, I sometimes indulge in organic wines made in Australia. 

If you wish to support Emmanuel Giboulot, you can do so in a petition at: http://ipsn.eu/petition/viticulteur/... It's in frog-lingo of course but in short it says: 

 

 

Dear Emmanuel Giboulot ,


You can count on our full support in the event you are going through .


I think , given the context , it is absurd that you are now summoned before the criminal court .


That's why I want you to know that we are hundreds of thousands to support you and encourage those around us to do the same.


Let me wish you, to you and your family to overcome this challenge with confidence. Be proud of the fine example that you give all farmers in France - organic or conventional - and all citizens, and your manager deal with threats today bees attitude.

It is our full conviction , and I hope that the thousands of letters of support like mine you will bring you the comfort you deserve. This is the least we can do in a country that has such an environmental heritage to be protected , and yet where biodiversity is so seriously threatened.


we're with you...

 

 

Translated by Google... More than half a million people have signed.

Note that the problem of maintaining the integrity of "organic" farming has been compromised, possibly deliberately, but certainly without efficient safeguards by the GM crop industry and the pesticide industry... We need to remain vigilant and support those prepared to place their own existence on the line by fighting the multinationals and stupid governmental regulations designed to support the multinationals.

In Australia we have a court case between an organic farmer and a neighbour using GM seeds, the crop of which has compromised the organic farm with GM pollen.

--------------------

Organic Farmer Sues GM Farming Neighbor


14 February 2014 9:15 am14 Comments

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—In a landmark case, an organic farmer in Western Australia state is suing his neighbor for allegedly contaminating his crop with a genetically modified organism (GMO), GM canola. This is the first claim anywhere in the world by a “non-GMO farmer against a GMO farmer,” says Joe Lederman of the specialist law firm FoodLegal in Melbourne.

Australia lifted a nationwide moratorium on GM crops in 2009. Only the state of South Australia prohibits planting of GM crops, a ban expected to hold until at least 2019. Because it is legal to sow GM crops in Western Australia, the case now being heard in the Western Australia Supreme Court in Perth turns on whether the GM farmer was negligent in the sense of not taking strict enough measures to contain GM material on his property, says University of Western Australia legal expert Michael Blakeney, an adviser to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

In court documents, Steve Marsh states that his organic farm, southeast of Perth, was contaminated in 2010 by GM canola, which he claims came from Michael Baxter’s farm. As a result, that year Marsh lost his National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) organic certification for approximately 70% of his property, on which he grows oats and rye and keeps sheep. Marsh is seeking damages of $85,000 for lost income and a permanent injunction preventing Baxter from planting GMOs within 1 kilometer of his farm.

http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2014/02/organic-farmer-sues-gm-farming-neighbor

 

 

 

 

we had no option but to do what we did...

An organic certifier that was blasted by a WA Supreme Court judge for being unscientific and unreasonable says it has no need to apologise for its actions.

The landmark judgment this month found farmer Michael Baxter could not be held responsible for genetically modified (GM) material that blew onto his neighbour's organic farm at Kojonup.

As a result, most of the organic property was de-certified for three years.

Justice Kenneth Martin brought down damning findings against the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture (NASAA) and its certifying arm, NASAA Certified Organic (NCO), saying the zero tolerance for GM was "unjustifiable".

But NASAA's general manager, Ben Copeman, has told the ABC's Landline "we had no option but to do what we did".

"We don't feel any need to apologise, we have followed a standard and all industry knows what those procedures are," he said.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-07/organic-certifier-defends-role-in-landmark-gm-contamination-case/5506816