Last week, the French research laboratory Excell published the results of a study of pesticide residue in more than 300 French wines.
Here’s the write-up from Decanter magazine:
A study of more than 300 French wines has found that only 10% of those tested were clean of any traces of chemicals used during vine treatments.
Pascal Chatonnet and the EXCELL laboratory in Bordeaux tested wines from the 2009 and 2010 vintages of Bordeaux, the Rhone, and the wider Aquitaine region, including appellations such as Madiran and Gaillac.
Wines were tested for 50 different molecules found in a range of vine treatments, such as pesticides and fungicides.
Some wines contained up to nine separate molecules, with ‘anti-rot’ fungicides the most commonly found. These are often applied late in the growing season.
‘Even though the individual molecules were below threshold levels of toxicity,’ Chatonnet told Decanter.com, ‘there is a worrying lack of research into the accumulation effect, and how the molecules interact with each other.
‘It is possible that the presence of several molecules combined is more harmful than a higher level of a single molecule,’ he said.