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French court punishes GM grapevine vandal

The French Court of Appeal at Colmar in the Alsace region has sentenced the person responsible for the destruction of field trials of genetically modified fanleaf virus-resistant grapevine rootstock to a one-month suspended sentence and a fine of €50,000 ($64,745) in damages and interest. The trials were being conducted at Colmar for four years by the French national institute for agricultural research, the INRA, and were destroyed in September 2009 ( Agrow No 576, p 12). A fine of €2,000 ($2,590 at the current rate) imposed by a court in November 2009 ( Agrow No 581, p 11) has also been confirmed in the latest decision. The INRA had expressed disappointment at that time, as it had asked for compensation of €17,000 ($22,013).

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