MINUTES OF PRESS CONFERENCE
TOWA (Transparency for Organic Wine Association) is a collective of individuals who all share a common consumer focus. TOWA unites 1,200 vineyards across 15 Member States, as well as a panel of scientists (doctors, agronomists, biologists and lawyers), who all offer their expertise to promote transparency in organic wines and bring about a major shift towards organic agriculture.
On 21 January 2019, Professor André Cicolella and Michèle Rivasi decided to lead a comparative, international phytosanitary analysis on both organic and conventional wines in order to measure the different chemical pesticide residues between the two sectors. Why? In order to detect whether the toxcins derived from those wines are carcinogenic, mutagenic or reptrotoxic (CMR) or endocrine disruptors (ED).
Today, CMR and ED molecules are available openly on the market, hence it remains possible for consumers to purchase wines containing these molecules without necessarily being in full knowledge of the facts. It is from this danger that TOWA's project is derived; to take account of the need for transparency in the ingredients of wine.
18 wines from 9 countries were tested in the study, with each country producing 1organic wine and 1 conventional wine for testing in order to ascertain as accurately as possiblethe difference in toxicity between the two sectors.
The European countries involved in the study were France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Greece. Also included was Switzerland, as an example of a country that is European but which is not subject to European regulation.
The countries from outside of Europe which presented wines for testing were USA, Chile and Australia.
We focused on the toxicities studied by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, and which are equally recognised by the international agencies that regulate the use of pesticides in USA and Europe (EPA, FDA, EFSA, national agencies working under ministerial responsibility), and also by regulatory data banks.
According to Gilles-Eric Seralini, it is noteworthy that the active ingredients declared in pesticides are commercialised with co-formulants that are capable of being toxic - indeed sometimes up to 1,000 times more toxic, as was found to be the case with the arsenic coformulant that was discovered in 2018 in all commercialised products made with a glyphosate base, which had in fact been banned in Europe for 35 years.
These co-formulants effectively level-out the differences between the toxicities of known pesticides. They are held out to be inert and confidential by pesticide manufacturers, while chemical businesses withhold their studies.