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ITALY: GM vines can only "damage" industry, says Agriculture Minister

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The Italian Agriculture Minister has indicated that he thinks worries about genetically modified (GM) vines are justified.

"We cannot ignore the call of 480 fine wine-producing municipalities addressed to the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi nor the words of the President of the Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi against the genetically modified vines," said Agriculture Minister Alemmano.

The comments follow an initiative by members of the Cities-of-Wine Association (where DOC and DOCG wines are produced) which distributed 100,000 postcards to Prodi requesting the cancellation of the measure that gives a green light for genetically modified organisms in the wine market.

"After all the efforts made to consolidate our worldwide first place in the wine industry, the introduction of these genetically modified organisms can only damage the gem of the made-in-Italy industry. I hope that President Prodi will accept the request made by wine producers who can be penalized due to this European Community measure," said Alemmano.


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