Drinks makers hit by tainted alcohol claims

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2012, 7:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2012, 7:50pm

All liquor drinks in China contain some levels of toxic plasticisers, China’s leading alcohol association said on Monday, after tests found quantities of plasticiser up to 260 per cent over the recommended limit in a popular brand of Chinese liquor.

A leading financial news website in China, 21cbh.com, said that Jiugui Liquor contains 260 per cent more plasticiser than the domestic industrial standard on Monday. The test was conducted by Intertek China, an international third-party quality tester.

Fan Zhen, vice-manager of Jiugui Liquor Company, told Shanghai Evening Post that the claims made by 21cbh.com are false on Tuesday.

“The national liquor inspection standards do not include plasticisers, and Jiugui Liquor does not have testing equipment,” Fan said. He also questioned the authority of Intertek China’s testing.

The China Alcoholic Drinks Association published a statement on its website as a response on Monday. It stated that all alcoholic drinks in China contain between 0.495 and 2.32 mg/kg of plasticiser. The report also said the higher-end the alcoholic drinks are, the more plasticiser they contain.

The report said plasticiser in alcoholic drinks is introduced during the transportation process when the drinks are in contact with plastic containers and packaging for long time periods of time. The longer alcoholic drinks are kept in plastic containers, the more plasticiser they contain, it said.

A ministry of health regulation passed in June last year set a safety standard of 0.3 mg/kg.

The story shook the alcoholic drinks market on Monday. Jiugui Liquor had to announce a temporary halt to stock trading while alcoholic drinks shares tumbled by 4.58 per cent at one point, 33 billion yuan (US$40 billion) worth of market shares evaporated.