A new study released last week by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in Europ based on 40 bottles of wine showed that all the conventional wines tested contained residues of pesticides, some of them up to 10 different types. The survey sample – which included low-cost wines as well as high-end wines from famous producers – included wines from France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Australia and Chile. Of that total, 34 were from conventional agriculture and six from organic agriculture.
While the pesticide levels did not exceed maximum authorized limits according to European law, the study noted that these limits do not specifically refer to wine but rather to grapes. It also pointed out that the level of pesticides in some wines was as much as 5,800 times that permitted for tap water.
According to statistics from Eurostat quoted by Les Echos, vineyards represent 3.5 percent of farmed surface area in Europe but receive 15 percent of all pesticides sprayed. In Europe, grapes are the food item which contain the highest levels of pesticides, followed by pears, oranges and strawberries. A study published by the European Commission showed that grapes and capiscums were the food items which most frequently contained traces of more than 10 pesticides.
The PAN study was coordinated by PAN Europe and supported in France by the anti-pesticide association MDRGF, Global 2000 in Austria and Greenpeace Germany. Of the six organic wines surveyed, only one contained faint traces of pesticides – a sample from the Burgundy region in France attributed to spraying in neighbouring parcels.
via PAN Europe and Les Echos