Wines from eight EU countries test positive for pesticides

04 April, 2008

Residues from 24 different pesticides have been found in wines sold in the EU, an investigation by environmental groups has revealed.

Tests on 40 bottles of wine from eight

countries found that, on average, each bottle contained four pesticides, with one containing 10.

Five of the 24

pesticides

are classified as carcinogenic, although the report did not say whether the levels at which they were found

posed a health risk .

Elliott Cannell, of Pesticide Action Network, the organisation wh ich published the report, said: "The presence of pesticides in European wines is a growing problem. Many grape farmers are abandoning traditional methods of pest control in favour of using hazardous synthetic pesticides. This trend has a direct impact on the quality of European wines.

"In two-thirds of cases the pesticide residues identified in this study relate to chemicals only recently adopted into mainstream grape production in the EU."

Wines tested included 10 each from France and Germany, and

bottles from Austria, Chile, Portugal, South Africa, Australia and Italy. All were on sale in the EU and three cost more than e200 per bottle.

The groups involved in the tests,

including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, are now calling for politicians and producers to remove dangerous pesticides from the food chain.

Cannell said: "The problem of food contamination needs a political solution and a retail solution.

"European politicians have a responsibility to end the use of hazardous pesticides in the EU."




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