Touted as the preferred choice of spirits by state leaders, China's famous Maotai liquor has become a favourite target of counterfeiters - with some types having been found blended with pesticides.
Guizhou authorities found a large quantity of fake Maotai recently mixed with toxic pesticides and packaged as limited-edition liquor for State Council banquets, local media said.
Officials from the Industrial and Commercial Department tracked down an underground liquor workshop in Guiyang on Tuesday, and seized more than a dozen types of fake wine, including fake Maotai labelled 'State Council special', 'Civil aviation special' and other brands in elaborate packaging, the Hong Kong-based Takung.com reported yesterday.
Officials said workers at the illegal workshop had confessed to putting DDT into the fake liquor to match the real flavour of Maotai, it was reported.
Qiao Hong, managing director of Kweichow Moutai Company, said the practice of mixing DDT into liquor falsely labelled as Maotai was a trick 'that had been used for more than 10 years'.
'It's impossible because the smell and flavour of DDT is far different from our Maotai,' Mr Qiao said. 'I can't believe that some people are still using it to palm fake Maotai off to customers.'
He said his company had produced a special edition for the State Council, that cost up to 70 per cent more than the standard 500ml bottle, which sells for 450 yuan.
'The State Council special is bottled in a yellow bottle with a seal character stamped 'Reserved for the State Council' on its outside packing,' he said. .
But he stressed that there was no 'civil aviation special' on the market because it was 'an internal supply between our company and the airlines'.
The report said the illegal workshop could produce about 1,000 bottles a day.