What's the penalty for destroying genetically modified grapevines in France? For over fifty protesters the answer is now, save a fine, zero. Decanter reports that the convictions of these GMO opponents have been overturned by a court of appeals. Their suspended prison sentences were quashed, and their fine had already been paid.
What was the court's rationale? The Decanter article explains that since authorities did not properly assess the risk to the local environment, the open-air crop trial was illegal.
Not surprisingly, this ruling displeased INRA (France's food and agricultural research body) President Francois Houllier. He wondered out loud, "'How do we escape this illegal violence? Must we, like the researchers in England, conduct our work behind barbed wire fences?"
Are you in favor of research on genetically modified grapevines if it results in advancements like, say, more drought-resistant vines? Or do you want GMOs out of your food and your wine glass?