Hazardously High Levels of Arsenic in California Wine: Law Suit Claims


Published Date : Mar 25, 2015

A number of bottles of cheaply priced California wines traded under labels such as Mogen David, Franzia, and Almaden have hazardously high levels of arsenic, as stated in a lawsuit that is filed by 4 California residents.

The Wine Institute, an advocacy group for the California wines, dismissed the complaint as negligent, adding that it has not asked for any vintner to drag any of the wines those are named in the complaint from shops shelves. The complaint that asks for class-action status, was filed on Thursday at the Superior Court in Los Angeles. It lists twenty eight California wineries as defendants. It also seeks for indefinite damages and a closure to the production of wine, which is contaminated by arsenic.

The institute that represents more than one thousand California vintners and associated businesses, published in a statement that they believe this allegation is untrue and deceptive and that all wines being traded in the U.S. market are safe. The spokeswoman of the institute, Ms. Gladys Horiuchi stated on Friday that however, the United States do not have specified arsenic levels for wine as many other nations do. She also stated that California vintages have never come even near to beyond those levels.

As stated in the lawsuit, the tests by 3 independent laboratories found out that, in a few cases, arsenic levels were almost 500% higher than what is s considered as safe. Ms. Horiuchi stated that those comparisons were on the basis of the levels considered safe for drinking water, not for the wine. The lead attorney of the lawsuit, Mr. Brian Kabateck, stated that the levels were primarily found in the tests performed by the head of the BeverageGrades, a Denver-based lab.