Monday, August 22, 2011

Missing Statistics: Cheater Capitalism At Work in the Wine Industry

Here is the Wine Institute's snapshot of relevant statistics about wine grape growing and winemaking in California. (Click to enlarge).

Look at all the info on jobs provided (they don't say how many of the jobs were for farmworkers and they don't say how much the average winery employee or tasting room host earns) and economic impact.

Don't see anything about pesticide use?

Here is the California Dept. of Public Health and Dept. of Pesticide Regulation's Agriculture Pesticide Use Mapping Service's view of the state of California showing all pesticides applied to wine grapes in the state. (Click to enlarge).

We the public pay for all the environmental damages caused by these pesticides - not the wine industry.

Just another case of what environmental Randy Hayes calls "cheater capitalism" - when industries don't pay for the cost of ecosystem services. (Yes, I know - that's a much bigger discussion.)

Why shouldn't we have a pay-to-play system for the wine industry where you have to PAY to apply pesticides? Like carbon credits - you pay for the right to pollute.

If we factored in the cost of these pollutants, what would that do to the Wine Institute's economic statistics?

But we don't have to wait for that to happen - we could start just by buying wines from wineries that don't at least put known endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and other synthetic chemicals into our water, air and soil.

Buy Organically Grown Wines. It's what you can start doing - right now.

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