DENVER, CO -- These days its not uncommon for people to look at what's in their food. But here's something you may not ask, what's in your wine? Yes, grapes. But what else?
Wines are not regulated by the FDA, so you don't necessarily know what's in the bottle. Our Gannett news partners at KUSA in Denver went to Beverage Grades, an independent lab that tests wine for consumers to see what's in your wine? They test for color additives, juice concentrate, pesticides and preservatives that may be in that bottle.
Lab director, Dan Connors told Colleen Ferreira, "There's a lot of trace chemicals we're interested in investigating. All of which have potential to be a carcinogen if they're at a high enough concentrations. Many compounds we're interested in are organic, and are also the flavor components we want to taste in a wine."
Beverage Grades says 68 percent of the wines they test contain one or more potentially harmful pesticides. The most common is a fungicide called boscalid. They say its most commonly detected in white wines, but it's not believed to cause a serious health risk.
Dimethoate is a commonly used pesticide, thats classified as "absolutely toxic". It's most commonly found in chardonnay.
Of course, a glass of wine now and then won't hurt you. But doctors advise extreme amounts ingested over long periods of time could cause a problem.
Beverage grades also tests wines for things like calorie content, sugar, and carbs. If you want to check your favorite wines, click here. If you don't see your wine on their site, tweet @beveragegrades with #winenot and they will test it for you.
Full descriptions of the most common pesticides BeverageGrades sees:
•Boscalid - Boscalid is the most commonly detected pesticide in white wines. The EPA has determined that this fungicide is unlikely to cause much risk to humans, even at maximum exposure levels, so the traces found in many wines, while less than desirable, are not particularly likely to pose a serious health risk. If you would rather be on the safe side and avoid it all together, stick to chablis, champagne or pinot gris as those varietals tend to have lower average Boscalid detection levels.
•Pyrimethanil - This fungicide is used on winemaking grapes, as well as grapes you'd buy at the grocery store. Found in riesling, sauvignon blanc, moscato and most prevalently, in Pinot Grigio. Pyrimethanil is listed as a possible carcinogen and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Carcinogens are agents that may cause cancer following exposure. While Pyrimethanil is listed as only a possible carcinogen, consumption may have serious negative side effects. Pyrimethanil's status as a suspected endocrine disruptor means that this chemical may interfere with the body's natural hormones. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to several conditions including obesity.
•Dimethoate - Various chardonnay's tested by BeverageGrades have been found to contain dimethoate. Dimethoate is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world. It is classified as acutely toxic and is also a possible carcinogen and is also a developmental and reproductive toxin. This insecticide is also a suspected endocrine disruptor. Dimethoate is a pesticide to watch out for, so if you are drinking chardonnay, it's important to check its purity rating.
KUSA/ WFMY News 2