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Giboulot conviction overturned

Emmanuel Giboulot, the biodynamic winemaker from Burgundy who was fined for not spraying his vines against a new pest, has had his conviction overturned on appeal.

Giboulot was fined €500 back in April but a Dijon judge over-turned the fine last week because, he said, the original order to treat the vines in spring 2013 had not first been approved by the minister of agriculture and therefore could not be brought to court for criminal non-compliance.

Giboulot called the new ruling a “victory for citizen power”. He was taken to court by the French Ministry of Agriculture earlier this year for not spraying pesticides on his vines.

He had been facing a maximum fine of €300,000 and six months in prison.

His refusal to spray to protect against a disease known as flavesence dorée, which is spread by leaf hopper insects, was likened to “refusing a mandatory vaccination” by local authorities.

As a biodynamic producer Giboulot refused to comply with the ministry of agriculture’s order to spray against the disease-carrying insects when a small outbreak of flavesence dorée was discovered in the south of the region in summer last year.

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