European Parliament votes against keeping the absinthe in absinthe
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The European Commission wants clarity: the list of ingredients in the famous old Swiss drink, absinthe, must contain certain basic ingredients, its argues, and one of these is thujone, found in several plants, including Artemisia absinthium, also known as Great Wormwood.
It’s also found in sage.
The European Parliament said Thursday that it disagrees, voting 409 to 247 for the status quo, which sets a maximum amount of 35 milligrams per kilogram of absinthe – but which sets no minimum. The Commission’s goal is to standardize the drink by ensuring the same basic ingredients are used.
The vote was backed by members of parliament voicing health concerns, who said there is no need to guarantee that the “toxin” thujone is part of the drink. Absinthe was banned for most of a century in a number of countries because of fears that it poisoned drinkers; it was famous in the arts world for its hallucinogenic effects.
The drink was banned in Switzerland in 1908 but authorized again in 2005. It was given protected IGP status in August 2012, so that at least in Switzerland, makers of the “green fairy” drink must meet a set of standards.