Burgundy winemaker's conviction overturned
In April 2014 biodynamic wine grower Emmanuel Giboulet was taken to court by the French agriculture ministry for not using pesticides on his vines to protect against the disease flavescence doree. He was facing a 6 month jail sentence and a €30,000 fine but instead will receive a €500 fine. Giboulet's refusal to use pesticides sparked a debate and won support from leading environmental groups, including Greenpeace, whilst local officials insisted that Giboulet's actions were threatening vineyards across the region. The Head of Research at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research said it's a bit like refusing a vaccination when it's mandatory. But the judge in Dijon said he overturned the conviction because the original order in spring 2013 to treat all vines in the Beaune area had not first been approved by the minister of agriculture, and therefore could not be susceptible to criminal proceedings for non-compliance.