A French organic winegrower who refused to spray his Burgundy vineyard with pesticide was ordered on Monday to pay a €500 fine for flouting official regulations.
The winegrower, Emmanuel Giboulot, had faced a possible six month jail sentence and €30,000 fine for refusing to spray his chardonnay and pinot noir grapes against an insect blamed for spreading a lethal disease known as flavescence dorée. It is attacking the vineyards of the Côte-d’Or region, where Giboulot produces côte de beaune and haute-côte de nuits wines.
Scores of Giboulot’s supporters, including Green MEP Sandrine Bélier, had gathered outside the court in Dijon to hear the verdict. The judge ruled in line with the prosecution’s demand that he should receive a fine of €1,000, with €500 suspended. Giboulot, 51, announced that he would appeal, and said after the hearing: “I still don’t feel guilty. It’s intolerable today to be forced to hide and to be frightened for taking a stand.” To read more, click HERE