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Allegrini 2018
STATEMENTS

COPA-COGEGA: “wine is inseparably linked to the European cultures”

Luca Rigotti: “it is wrong not to distinguish between abuse and moderate consumption, such as the Mediterranean Diet”
COPA COGECA, HEALTH, LUCA RIGOTTI, MEDITERRANEAN DIET, US NEWS, WINE, News
The Mediterranean Diet is the healthiest in the world. Glass of wine included

The UNESCO heritage Mediterranean diet has once again been crowned the best in the world among the coded diets, because of its balance between grains, fruit, vegetables and olive oil, combined with a moderate consumption of meat, fish, legumes, dairy products and wine. The American magazine US NEWS, which collected the opinions of a panel of dieticians, nutritionists and health experts confirmed the absolute top position. The Mediterranean diet, according to the ranking, has an overall score of 4.2 points out of 5, rising to 4.8 out of 5 considering just the health aspect.
In these beginning days of 2022, having been voted the best diet in the world gives more strength to the motives of those who, in the wine world, have maintained that within the framework of health policies the European Union is implementing, abuse of alcohol must be struck, and not, instead, moderate consumption of wine, which is an integral part of a diet such as the Mediterranean diet, considered the healthiest in the world. The European cooperation of wine, represented by COPA-COGECA, the united farmers and agro cooperatives, has also confirmed its status. The wine division of COPA-COGECA is led by the Italian, Luca Rigotti (former president of Mezzacorona and at the helm of the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives’ wine sector).
“Wine is inseparably linked to the culture and lifestyle of all Europe, and it is much more than a simple alcoholic beverage. It is a production sector that plays a fundamental role in maintaining employment and the economic, social and environmental sustainability of entire rural areas, which also represents the number one item of EU agro-food exports to third countries”, underlined Rigotti.
He then added, “It is important to remember that the entire economic cycle of wine production and marketing creates 3 million direct full-time jobs. And, furthermore, that in the first seven months of 2021 wine trade, which represents the number one item in EU agro-food exports, registered +30% increase, achieving 2.2 billion euros”.
According to Rigotti, the European Commission in its latest political choices, did not take into due account the difference between the use and abuse of wine. “The objectives of the plan to fight cancer are definitely shared in full”, stated Rigotti, “but this does not mean we should not recognize a substantial lack of balance in the favorable vote the Special Commission for the fight against cancer of the European Parliament (Beca Commission )expressed a few weeks ago. This is because it does not distinguish between moderate and conscious consumption of wine as a food, mostly consumed with meals, as well as being an integral part, among other things, of the Mediterranean Diet, and an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. The report of the European Commission states that “there is no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to cancer prevention”, a statement that according to the president of the COPA-COGECA Working Group, “should be read as a generalization that does not take into account the differences of opinions and results among the members of the scientific community. It consequently ends up stigmatizing a natural agricultural product such as wine, part of our tradition, and is not actually able to effectively address the root causes of harmful consumption”. Lastly, Rigotti mentioned COPA-COGECA’s commitment, together with other wine associations, to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol through initiatives such as “Wine in Moderation”, a social responsibility program launched in 2008 by the European wine sector. “We believe that the correct response to excessive and harmful consumption”, he wrote in his editorial, “must be through education and awareness. Emphasizing the importance of moderate consumption connected to food as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, on the contrary, will help reduce excessive consumption and achieve lasting results. Quick fixes have often proved ineffective”.

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