California Wines have Dangerous Levels of Poisonous Arsenic

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Some very well known brands of California wine have been found to contain high amounts of arsenic, as indicated by a suit filed Thursday in a Northern California court.

The class action suit alleges that many wineries are ignoring California state laws by intentionally creating, branding and distributing arsenic tainted table wines and neglecting to educate the public about any potential dangers. The suit also seeks relief for additional damages and a court order requiring wineries to revise their production methods to reduce arsenic levels.

Court documents reveal that three different testing labs have verified that over 25 California wineries are distributing wines with abnormal amounts of the documented poison.

"Nonetheless, three different testing research facilities specializing in arsenic testing have now separately affirmed that these California wineries choose to sell and distribute wines that contain hazardous amounts of inorganic arsenic, at times up to 500% or more than what is viewed as the safe daily limit of arsenic," the suit states. "Put in a different way, only a glass or two of these arsenic tainted wines a day would result in a high arsenic danger to the public."

Wine producers detailed in the suit include Vendage, Franzia, Cupcake, Sutter Home, Menage a Trois, Wine Cube, Glen Ellen, Beringer and Vendage and Trader Joe's Charles Shaw.  The wines named in the claim are basically economical white or become flushed varietals including Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

"These wineries have been aware of the genuine dangers their wines are to their clients," says Oakland based attorney Aaron Krisbill. "But as opposed to reducing the amounts of arsenic, wineries seem to be doubling down on the practice arsenic poisoned wine to the California buyer."

In light of the lawsuit, a Castro Valley, California representative of Trader Joe's (which markets the prominent Charles Shaw brand known as "two buck Chuck") stated that "...the concerns brought up in your request are very serious and are being dealt accordingly. We are researching the matter with a few of our wine delivering suppliers."

Treasury Wine Estates website have been updated to state "...brands are completely consistent with all significant government and state guidelines..."

Arsenic is an unscented, clear colored and exceedingly dangerous toxin known for its deadly effects when ingested in large quanties. Long terms effects of smaller amounts arsenic exposure include various cancers, heart disease and even diabetes.

 

Cover photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis

Location (Map)

California, USA
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