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Key Facts About Wine & Glyphosate

Infographic about "no significant risk" of glyphosate drinking wine

  • California’s vintners and growers have a long tradition of family businesses dedicated to producing high-quality grapes and wines and acting as stewards of the land for the long term. As global leaders in adopting sustainable practices, the California wine community adheres to environmental standards that are among the strictest in the world.
  • Glyphosate is an herbicide (or weed-killer) widely used by farmers and landscapers worldwide and also sold for consumer use in residential gardening. Many foods and beverages may contain minuscule, trace amounts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established safe levels for glyphosate in over 150 foods and beverages.
  • Glyphosate is permitted for use in vineyards where it is used to destroy weeds. It is not sprayed on grapes or vines but targeted directly to vineyard weeds. The trace amounts of glyphosate that may be present in wine from its use on vineyard weeds are far below the safe level that the EPA has established.
  • Materials used in agriculture must meet stringent safety standards. Herbicides approved for use in the U.S. and other countries are thoroughly reviewed and studied by the EPA and other international governmental agencies. More information from EPA.
  • California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) adopted a regulation in 2018 establishing a No Significant Risk Level (NSRL) for glyphosate of 1,100 micrograms per day. The level that might be found in wine, if any, is insignificant compared to the NSRL. Because of this, wine is exempt from a new requirement to display warning signs for glyphosate within California.

 

Wines sold in the U.S. are safe to enjoy

Below are U.S. and International Government Assessments of Glyphosate Safety:

US Environmental Protection Agency Logo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

 

European Chemical Agency Logo
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

 

European Food Safety Authority Logo
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

 

BfR Logo
Germany’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (BfR) (A report for the European Commission on Annex 1 renewal of glyphosate)

 

Health Canada Logo
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency

 

New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority

 

Japan’s Food Safety Commission

 

What the Experts Say

“Wine as a source of glyphosate should not be of concern. An adult would have to drink more than 140 glasses of wine a day over 70 years containing the highest glyphosate level measured to reach the level that California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has identified as ‘No Significant Risk Level.’”

Carl Winter, Ph.D.
Professor, Food Toxicology
University of California at Davis
Davis, California

 

In the News

March 7, 2019

Research Check: Do We Need to Worry About Glyphosate in Our Beer and Wine? (The Conversation)

Feb. 28, 2019

There’s No Need to Panic Over Weed-killer in Beer and Wine (Forbes)

Feb. 27, 2018

US Judge Blocks Weed-killer Warning Label in California (APNews)

June 14, 2017

Cancer Agency Left in the Dark over Glyphosate Evidence (Reuters)

Sept. 19, 2016

Glyphosate Doesn’t Cause Cancer, Says the EPA (Food & Wine)

Sept. 17, 2016

EPA Weighs in on Glyphosate, Says It Likely Doesn’t Cause Cancer (NPR)

May 16, 2016

U.N. Experts Find Weed Killer Glyphosate Unlikely to Cause Cancer (Reuters)

April 11, 2016

No, There Aren’t Dangerous Levels of Weed-Killer in California Wines (Accountable Science)

April 8, 2016

Report of Glyphosate in Wine Not Transparent or Believable (Solid Communications)

 

Journalists requiring more information, contact:

communications@wineinstitute.org