Six months ago, I attended a Bordeaux wine tasting here in San Francisco and asked the moderator what percentage of wineries in Bordeaux were organic. The official had no tally (the number is very small), but of course, was pleased to mention the region's sustainability program and growing membership.
This type of response is typical of the wine industry, which prefers to tout its progress in lowering its use of water and energy instead of addressing the health issues for workers and residents when it comes to the use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, which are classified as carcinogens, neurotoxins and other toxic classifications.
The situation in France is becoming more heightened. Following the France2 television broadcast of a two hour special on pesticides and children's health risks, the burgeoning citizen movement in Bordeaux launched a protest march Sunday.
According to Decanter, more than 600 people participated, taking to the streets to tell vintners they are angry about the use of toxics and linking it to putting their children at risk.
This citizens coalition involves a number of nonprofit groups which are listed on their organizing pamphlet above.
Viva La France. What will it take for Californians to wake up, too?