Wine Industry Leaders Explore Issues Surrounding Biotechnology and Winegrapes, Consider Consumer Reactions, Regulatory Issues

Source Organization: Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology


12/20/2006 - In July 2006, the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and the American Vineyard Foundation held a workshop in San Francisco, CA examining issues relating to the potential adoption of biotechnology in the winegrape and wine industries.

Over the course of the two-day event, grape growers, winemakers, grape and yeast research scientists, federal and state government representatives and agricultural commodity and specialty crop producers gathered to discuss the scientific, regulatory and marketing issues associated with the potential development of genetically engineered (GE) winegrapes.

Some of the key issues discussed in the proceedings include:

• The advantages in production for winegrape growers and vintners that may be realized using agricultural biotechnology must be balanced against the need to ensure environmental and food safety.

• It remains unclear if wine consumers, particularly those in overseas markets, will be willing to embrace products derived from biotechnology.

• While GE winegrapes remain in development, GE yeasts for use in winemaking have been developed, have successfully undergone regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and Canada, and are ready for commercialization, making discussion of these issues very timely.

View the report -- Grapes, Wine, and the Application of Biotechnology, a Summary of a Multi-stakeholder Workshop.

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