Skip to main content


Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what have been the results so far of his Department's investigations into the sale of contaminated wine in the United Kingdom; from which countries such wines have come; and if he will make a statement.

A surveillance exercise on the incidence of contamination of wine in the United Kingdom with diethylene glycol has been carried out by my Department. We tested samples drawn by us from retail outlets, sent to us by the trade and submitted for confirmatory analysis by public analysts. Seven hundred and seventeen samples of wine from 16 countries were tested. Seventy-six samples were found to contain diethylene glycol, some of which were Austrian wines, some German wines, some Italian wines and one a Hungarian wine which had been bottled in Germany and may well have been contaminated at that stage.In addition local enforcement authorities carried out testing in the normal course of their duties and retailers and wine traders also carried out their own testing. The results of these tests are not available centrally.

The conclusion that we have drawn from the exercise was that this was a problem confined to some producers in Austria and certain bottlers in Europe; no contamination of other wines was detected.