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17/10/2013

MEPs concerned about pesticides in French wine

Over the last days Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have submitted questions to the European Commission demanding clarification for the presence of pesticides in French wine.

The MEPs who asked the question were Belgian Mark Demesmaeker (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance), Esther de Lange (Group of the European People's Party) from the Netherlands and Belgian Ivo Belet (Group of the European People's Party).

They refer to the recent findings of the Que Choisir, the French consumer organisation magazine, which has allegedly found pesticide traces in all 92 of the wine bottles it has analysed. The investigation has detected 33 different pesticides, 7 of which are known to be carcinogenic.

They pointed out that the wine-growers in France now use 5% more pesticide than in 2008.

The MEPs have inquired the European Commission on what measures it intends to introduce to reduce use of pesticides in viticulture and whether any legislative activities are being planned in this matter.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its last year annual report on residues noted that high Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) exceedance rates were detected, among other agricultural products, also in table and wine grapes.

Sources: EFSA Annual Report http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/3130.pdf

Article regarding the pesticides in wine study (in French) http://www.lindependant.fr/2013/09/20/pesticides-dans-le-vin-que-choisir-relance-le-debat,1791645.php

MEP question: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+WQ2013-010963+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=en