31 March 2014. Source:

Genetically modified technology has the potential to make grapes cheaper to produce and enhance Australian wine production.

But the Australian wine sector doesn’t support the use of GM in its industry.

Australian Wine Research Institute managing director Dan Johnson says GM is used in research, but the industry’s not ready for commercialisation.

“In the main, there is still widespread concern about what use of GM, for example, might do to export markets and what it might do to the perception of the overall Australian wine category.

“As a result, the wine category doesn’t look at that very seriously.”

Mr Johnson says the Australian industry is happy for other countries and industries to lead the way in this field.

“There are other agricultural crops and indeed possibly wine industries elsewhere in the world that might seek to take a lead in the practical implementation of that, if we get to the point where other agricultural crops, like wheat, can establish a long track record of safety.

“Wine is by comparison a luxury product, and it’s subject to a different set of principles and thinking, so we would look to take a back seat and allow other industries to take the lead.”