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Additives, pesticides: wine that you drink does not only contain grape

In a recent survey conducted by Franceinfo, up to 15 pesticide residues have been discovered is some bottles of Bordeaux wine.

10 bottles of conventional, organic and natural wine -all from the Bordeaux (France) region- have been analysed by a laboratory. Results: all bottles contain sulphite which prevent bacterial growth and improve wine storage. According to Christophe Lavelle, a researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), “wine can contain amounts of sulphites which can be problematic for consumers”.

Even “natural wine” producers defend a reasonable use of sulphites. According to the Franceinfo analyse, the natural wine only contains 10 mg/L of sulphites, whereas legislation allows up to 150 ml/L for traditional wine. The problem is that it is impossible to know how much it contains by reading the label of the bottle. In total, more than 50 products are authorised in conventional viticulture.

For the moment, it is impossible to know which products are really used in wine production. Alcohol benefits from a derogation from the European Union regarding consumers information (EU Reg 1169/2011).

French National Association for Prevention in Alcoology and Addictology (ANPAA), together with many organisation across Europe has been continuously calling on the European Commission to end exemption for wine products.Consumers have the right to know what is in the products they are buying, this includes nutritional information for instance such as how many calories are in wine, as well as ingredients listing.

Earlier this year the alcohol industry has presented a self-regulatory approach to the European Commission, as requested by it in 2017.European Commission is currently assessing the industry’s proposal. However, there are fears among public health organisations, that Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis will to mange to deal with this topic sufficiently until next year, when his mandate expires.

To read the full article in French please visit Franceinfo

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