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Consumers reassured on chemicals in wine

Published:  03 February, 2010

A new logo could soon be appearing on wine labels, assuring consumers that the product has only received minimal chemical treatments.

The "+Nature, - Pesticides" logo has been developed by the French Institute of Wine and Vineyards (IFV) following three years of research.

To qualify for the logo, the finished wine must contain no traces of insecticides or herbicides. There is a maximum tolerance of two anti-botrytis molecules and one fungicide molecule.

Nine laboratories have IFV accreditation to screen wine samples and to award the logo.

One of them is Excell, which operates from Bordeaux, Chile, Argentina and Spain.   

Its chief executive Pascal Chatonnet said: "There is no reason why we should be able to detect herbicides and insecticides in wine."

Chatonnet wants weed killers and insecticides eliminated from viticulture and vine treatments reduced.  

He believes the vast majority of winegrowers have taken major steps towards reducing vine treatments, but until now have had no way of proving or communicating that their wine does not contain harmful pesticides.