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Customs carried out controls of organic wines – which did turn out to be organic and showed no traces of pesticides or fraud attempts

Publication date 30.8.2023 8.30
Press release

Finnish Customs is responsible for supervising the quality of organically produced imports of foodstuffs. Customs conducted controls during spring this year, and did not find any traces of prohibited pesticides. However, controls are still important for ensuring the quality of organic foodstuffs and for combating food fraud.

One of the basic tasks of Finnish Customs is to control the safety and quality of imported foodstuffs. Customs carries out non-stop controls on non-alcoholic organic wines. This year however, Customs focused on finding remnants of pesticides in alcoholic organic wines for the first time.

The organic wines that Customs controlled and sampled in the spring originated in Australia and Chile. The organic red and white wines that Customs examined met with the criteria set for organic products, as they did not contain any residues of chemicals. Organic products are to be produced without any chemical pesticides, which is why residues of such substances are not present in authentic organic products.

Organic products are often more expensive than other products, which makes them a tempting target for food fraud.

Laboratory tests ensure that foodstuffs and beverages are organic

After customs controls, the Customs Laboratory examines organic foodstuffs in more detail. Laboratory methods enabled examinations of specific quantities of up to 350 chemical compounds. With the multiresidue method, it is possible to examine hundreds of different pesticides all found in a single sample extract.

If any residues of pesticides had been found in the organic wines subjected to controls, such a finding would have resulted in the scrutiny of the manufacturer in the country of origin. Sometimes excess or inappropriate ingredients are due to sheer accidents or negligence in food production. In some cases however, it is possible that chemicals, additives or other substances have been added or omitted willingly for committing fraud.

Media release