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EU glyphosate herbicide ban would make weed control harder for French winegrowers

| November 6, 2017

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Bad weather this year has already prompted a steep drop in French wine output, contributing to a 50-year low in global production.

And Europe-wide curbs on glyphosate, which the European Parliament wants to see banned by 2022, would be a further headache for many French vintners.

The vast majority of producers cultivating western France’s famed Bordeaux grapes are heavily reliant on weedkillers including glyphosate.

In the event of an outright ban, Bordeaux grower Olivier de Marcillac said he would have to “work the land at least four times a year, meaning more equipment, more manpower”.

As an organic farmer … Christian [Sabate] doesn’t have the option of using glyphosate.

Related article:  A jury decided glyphosate caused cancer. Is this society's 'search for a scapegoat' for the deadly disease?

He instead has to use a special machine to go painstakingly between the rows removing weeds — a lot more complicated than spraying them with chemicals, which is easy, quick and cheap.

Growers opting for the non-chemical method also need to have training and find qualified manpower, which is lacking in the region.

The arduous process needs to be done four to six times a year, compared to just two or three for weedkiller.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: EU weedkiller row leaves French winegrowers with a hangover

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