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EU wines suffer from systematic' contamination

Published:  23 July, 2008

European wines suffer from systematic' pesticide contamination, a new study has found.

Research by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe investigated 40 bottles of wine from within the EU and discovered substantial evidence that many contained residues of a large number of pesticides.

The report found that 100% of conventional wines in the analysis contained pesticides with one of the 40 bottles containing traces of ten different pesticides.

PAN Europe's research showed grapes to be amongst the most contaminated food types on sale in the EU with a higher dose of synthetic pesticides than virtually any other crop.

In the tests, each wine sample contained an average of just over four pesticides while 24 different pesticide contaminants were discovered across the sample study.

Elliot Cannell, PAN Europe spokesman, 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."

A recent report by the French Ministry of Agriculture identified 15 pesticides which are systematically transferred from grapes into wine during production.