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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Would You Care For a Glass of Muriatic Acid?

The following story is today's news, but in reality , it's old news - a piece that L'Espresso published on their site today. (click here for the translated version)
Yet another scandal is scuffing Italy's reputation. After the "adjusted" Brunello fiasco, and the Mozzarella scare (in the end the EU tests came back negative), it became apparent that GREEDINESS has become one of the biggest problems the modern world is facing - the alarming and disconcerting realization that our supposedly "guaranteed" products may very well have been tampered with for the sake of a larger profit margin. The latest scandal has been discovered by the Guardia di Finanza, one of the Italian police agencies. According to the Guardia, a prosecutor and 2 judges, the issue at hand is very disturbing; 70 million liters of wine (which would fill 93 million bottles) have been found to contain only a small percentage of actual must (tests found between 20 and 40% of it).
The rest of the wine's content was composed of sugar, water, muriatic acid and sulfuric acid (widely used in liquid plumbers). Needless to say. the people who are exposed to this deadly mixture will most likely develop different types of cancers. There are 8 wineries who have been implicated so far, and 20 more are under investigation; one of them was already involved with a methanol-tainted wine scandal 22 years ago, a fiasco that killed 19 people and left another 15 blind. In winemaker Bruno Castagna's facilities, the police have discovered 60 Kg of sugar (sucrose) and large quantities of muriatic and sulfuric acids next to the tanks, a find which put the detectives on the right trail to uncover perhaps the biggest food adulteration fraud ever to happen in Italy. The sad part is that similar adulterations are made almost everywhere in the world - probably not to the extent of using such dangerous acids, but regardless, a product that is supposedly made from grapes to be composed mostly of something else is despicable. It is particularly sobering to remember that big corporations are in this field for profit that has to grow every year in order to satisfy the shareholders. It is shameful that that goal is now being sought out through dishonest means that compromise the basic integrity and quality levels that should be required for every eatable and drinkable product.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti


Tom Glasgow said...

Any idea if the tainted wine reached the US?

De Vino said...

The information so far are reporting that the wines were sold just in Italy.

Anthony Nicalo said...

Thanks for pointing this out, Gabrio. I was amazed that all the commenters to follow you on ThePour were only worried about Brunello and IGT!

De Vino said...

I guess some cabernet is scarrier then acids... :)

Anonymous said...

Great story as for me. It would be great to read a bit more concerning this matter. Thank you for giving this information.
Joan Stepsen
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