Pesecticide residue in French Wine

Friday, 22 February, 2013
European wine group linkedin
In a study of more than 300 French wines by Pascal Chatonnet and the Excell laboratory in Bordeaux pesticide residues have been found in around 90% and only 10% of those tested had no trace of any chemicals used on the vines.
The tests were carried out on 2009 and 2010 vintages of Bordeaux, the Rhone and the Aquitaine region. They tested for 50 different molecules found in a variety of different vine treatments particularly for pesticides and fungicides. The most common molecule found in the wines were for anti rot fungicides which are sprayed on the vines late in the growing season.
The levels found were below the accepted threshold levels of toxicity but there is concern as to whether there is an accumulation effect and how the molecules react together. It is possible that several of the molecules combined could do more harm than a higher level of a single molecule.
France have a national plan to cut pesticide use by 50% by 2018 but until now there has been no change in the quantities used. EU rules restrict pesticide residues on grapes to 250 molecules but there are no limits set for wine.

More research is needed into how these molecules change during the production process and there needs to be more traceability available. The main people affected by these pesticides and fungicides are the vineyard workers, particularly as last year the French Government established a link between pesticides and Parkinson£s disease in agricutural labourers.