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GMO wine : Grossly Manipulated Opinion ?


What IS that? An eel caught by an abyssal net? A space Hoover cleaning up planet Mars?
In fact, it is a nematode, a micrometric worm trapped by the mycelium of a mushroom. This image has been taken with an electronic microscope by Pr H.H. Triantaphyllou for the American Phytopathological Society, in St Paul, Minnesota.

To face this microworm, France has replied by creating a vine genetically modified to resist nematodes. While all eyes were focusing on the “Grenelle de l’environnement”, the brand new environmental laws being voted by Parliament in France on May the 18th 2010, the ministers of agriculture and of the environment have authorized the planting of GMO vineyards, in Colmar, Alsace.

For sure, some nematodes are vegetarian and harm plants when they penetrate the roots, while inoculating them with viruses like the grape vine fanleaf virus, which stops the vine to produce grapes. This is sad indeed, but this is nature. On planet earth small nematodes are eaten by big nematodes. Even if they are discreet, they are part of the balance of a whole food chain. As we see on the photo, nematodes are also food for some mushrooms, as for bacterias, arthropodes, micro spiders, worms…

The nematode eats bacterias, protozoas, other nematodes and transforms organic matters. It does the crucial role of digesting whatever makes soil, from vegetal to animal… no nematodes means the proliferation of potentially pathogenic micro organisms for plants and bacterias potentially harmfull for man.

There are more than a million species of nematodes. If you dont have small nematodes anymore, the big ones will go elsewhere and here starts the catastrophy. If some attack the plant roots, others mineralize the organic matter to make it fertile for plants; while the carnivorous ones regulate the global nematode population. Their main job is to liberate at the root level, the nitrogene needed in a digestable form for the plant; a vital role in the creation of a rich soil.

So why did the French ministers declared war to these micro-organisms?

Nematodes become pathogenous in an unbalanced soil.

In a compacted soil, big nematodes cant travel anymore. The little vegetarian ones can play freely with their bunch of viruses. The soil of a vineyard is generally compacted by regularly tilling in betwin vine rows, destructuring the soil and compacting it like a tart batter, year after year. We brake the roots leaving them bare to any attack. We spread its’ sap to attract all the nematodes of the area allowing them to enter freely directly inside the roots. We brake as well the balance of the soil, its’ bacterial and fungal life which feed on nematodes. Better than a disneyland, we create a fantastic recreational park for vegetarian nematodes.

In the past 40 years we taught farmers to fight chemically against anything they could :

With herbicides… but wherever you have a nematode invasion, you have anti nematodes plants growing spontaneously like the marygold Tagettes minuta, which you can also sow. The herbicide on his side will kill everything, this making no details. But you have always plants resisting, which are not always the most usefull them …

With fongicides : there are more 13 cryptogamic diseases brought by fungi and yeasts, that terror the farmer like the brown or powdery mildew. Biologists have not found better defense against these mushrooms than other mushrooms, which by associating with the vine, boost its production, while exchanging with the plant natural antibiotics and enzimes that enhance their immunitary defences.
But when you tell someone who lost his crop because of a mushroom, that a mushroom can help him, hee is freaking. It is understandable.

In fact with the genetically modified vine we can stay in our tranquille ignorance of the soil web; buy more cloned GMO plants and give the state its’ commision via the INRA (French National Agriculture Institute). Among the million species of nematodes straying in our soil, some will finally adapt to the GMO clones. They are more than 200 million years old, they will survive us… And the vineyards planted with identical clones will all get the disease at the same time… What a better business than having to replant the whole French vineyards once for all?

I drink to our great marketting geniuses, agronomists and politicians; with French wine of course, it is still time.

Look at this other picture : Here is a nematode finally free to enter swiftly in a root. Cheers.


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