EFOW requests the postponement of the labelling of albumin and casein on wine bottles

Brussels, 3rd of September 2010. Preliminary studies results conducted under the auspices of the OIV[1], demonstrate that good winemaking practices can eliminate residues of albumin and casein in wine. These results are being analysed by the EFSA[2]. EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines, asks the European Commission to postpone by one year the entry into force of the mandatory labelling on wine bottles of the terms albumin and casein.

In a letter sent to the Commissioner’s John Dalli Cabinet (DG SANCO), EFOW requested an extension of the temporary exemption accorded to wine bottles to label the possible presence of residues of casein and albumin. These two processing aids, traditionally used to filter wine, would have to be labelled as from the 1st of January 2011 due to their potential allergenic effects. However, preliminary results of several studies conducted under the auspices of OIV since 2009 – and delivered to the Commission and the EFSA in June – show that good winemaking practices can completely eliminate these residues. The final and conclusive results will be published next spring.

According to EFOW’s President, Mr. Riccardo RICCI CURBASTRO, “filtering wines with casein or albumin is an extremely old traditional method, which had never been questioned so far. If we understand the concern of the European authorities to apply the precautionary principle, we appeal to the common sense of the Commission and Member States to postpone the implementation of this legislation, in order to have time to review the results of these studies, especially if they were to lead to a definitive exemption”.

Given the very limited timeframe, before this labelling requirement enters into force (next January), EFOW urges the Commission to take a decision in the coming weeks.

[1] International Organisation of Vine and Wine

[2] European Food Safety Authority