Liquor firm denies tainted drinks

2012-11-19 23:28:15 GMT2012-11-20 07:28:15(Beijing Time)

A liquor company is disputing the findings of a testing company in Shanghai that its products contain excessive and toxic plasticizers which could impair male sexual function and even cause liver cancer.

According to a report on news website, Jiugui, a type of Chinese liquor selling for 438 yuan (US$70) a bottle, was found to contain three plasticizers with one being 260 percent above the permitted level.

There have been reports of plasticizers being illegally added to drinks to improve their appearance and taste. But they can be hazardous to health.

The website said its reporter, after a tip-off from "insiders," had purchased four bottles of Jiugui from an official store in Beijing and sent them to the National Food Quality Supervision and Inspection Center for checks.

But after the center refused to check the liquor saying that it would require authorization from the production company, the reporter sent them to a third-party company, Intertek Co, to be tested. Its tests showed that samples of the liquor contained three plasticizers - diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), the website said.

The DBP was 260 percent above the level allowed in the country, the website said.

It quoted experts as saying long-term intake of food or drink with plasticizers disrupted hormone levels and could also damage the immune and digestive systems and even cause liver cancer.

However, liquor producer Hunan Jiugui Liquor Co in central China's Hunan Province disputed the findings and said they would not be recalling products.

It told NetEase website that the Intertek company was not authoritative.

The website said the company had previously sent products to the country's quality supervision facility for checks but no plasticizers had been found.

Jiugui Vice President Fan Zhen told China National Radio he had been confused by the media reports. Fan said the company used traditional methods and didn't add plasticizer during the production process.

He also said there was no national standard for plasticizers in liquor but confirmed that the company would be sending their products to an official facility for checks.

Experts say any chemicals in the drink may have come from plastic products, such as conduits or containers, that are used in the distilling process.

Editor: Yu Runze
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