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South Africa applies to start research into GM Wine

Stellenbosch University has applied to the South African Government to grow genetically modified grapes in field trials. The hope is that GM grapevines will produce grapes that are resistant to fungus. The first vintage wouldn’t be for produced for around five years and even then it wouldn’t be released commercially. However, a former South African now living in Canada also put in application requesting to sell GM yeast in his native country to use in winemaking. The South African Wine Council said in a statement that it, ‘has clearly objected to the commercial use of GM yeasts’ and expects the application to be turned down. It is currently not legal to produce GM wine in South Africa and the wine and spirit board there says it has no plans to change this.