It's no secret that Chinese wines are the fastest growing market in the sector. But despite their popularity, rumors are swirling that Chinese wines may contian an unhealthy level of pesticides. [related]
The news broke from Securities Market Weekly of Beijing, reports Forbes. The magazine stated last week that 10 samples from three different Chinese wineries tested positive for high levels of the pesticides carbendazim and metalaxyl. As a result, some stores took the wines off their shelves and stock prices for Changyu wines (the leader in Chinese wines, whose wines were in the sample test) dropped nearly 10 percent.
In response, the government said that the pesticide levels are not unhealthy, reports China Daily. Yan Weixing, a researcher with the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, told the press that pesticide levels were unavoidable in modern food, but didn't pose any serious threat to health. The wines who tested for the pesticides had levels far below the EU limits. And Song Quanhou, deputy director of the China National Research Institute of Food & Fermentation Industries in China, said the two pesticides tested are actually germicides allowed in grape production in China and elsewhere.
The magazine article has since been pulled from publication; it can't be found online, but no one knows why. Some bloggers in China questioned the magazine's accuracy in reporting the results of the sample. It's definitely not good news for the Chinese wine market, but will it truly affect its popularity? It's doubtful.