Industry defends itself after Dispatches

The UK wine trade has hit back after a TV documentary exposed


added to wines without

consumers knowing.

Channel 4's Dispatches programme, screened on Monday night, was presented by journalist Jane Moore who said: "In total, the EU allows the wine industry to use more than 50 different flavourings, additives, preservatives and agents, so it's fair to say that neither the adverts nor the labels give you the full picture. As the current legislation stands, wine producers are not required to list ingredients, so the majority don't."

But Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, responded: "The winemaking process is governed by strict regulations designed to ensure products meet stringent health and safety standards. Winemaking has always involved the use of certain additives to ensure consumers enjoy a consistent high quality product.

"There is no secret - EU regulations spell out the ingredients permitted for use and the amounts allowed. If any producer is found to have breached these regulations we fully support action by the authorities.

"The precise combination of ingredients used in the

process varies because no two batches of grapes are the same. This variance and the need to translate materials into 27 languages to satisfy EU single market requirements mean precise labelling for wine covering full ingredients would be massively expensive."