Trade body Freshfel Europe is lobbying the European Commission to retain the use of sodium metabisulphate to treat grapes during handling and storage, which is currently being discussed by the EC.
As the fruit respires, the chemical releases sulphur dioxide, which acts as a fungicide to retard botrytis, thereby maintaining fruit quality.
The organisation wants grapes to be included on the list of allowed products. It has recommended that the maximum residue level be set at 10mg/kg, in line with what it said was international practice.