Tests detect pesticide residues in French wines

| October 2, 2013

Wine bottlesAccording to a report by business news provider Bloomberg, French Consumer organisation UFC-Que Choisir found traces of pesticide residues in each of 92 different wines analysed, including those made from organic grapes.

The wines tested ranged from a budget red at €1.63 a bottle to a Chateauneuf du Pape at €15 and included both red and white types. The residue levels present were found to be “well below” the EU maximum limits for wine grapes prior to fermentation, although Que Choisir points out that there are no legal limits applying specifically to bottled wine.

Most of the residues were fungicides and the highest levels tended to be in wines produced in wetter regions, such as Bordeaux, where vines are more vulnerable to disease. The lowest residue levels were in wines from Provence and the Rhone valley.

The highest residue level detected was 1,682 micrograms in a bottle of white wine from Graves in the Bordeaux region. Residues of two pesticides not approved for use in the EU were detected in other samples. The organic wines tested contained only trace amounts of pesticides, which could have been the result of environmental contamination.

The Bloomberg report can be found here and the website of Que Choisir here.

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