Wine makers push back against arsenic accusations

A watchdog group tested several California wine producers’ products for arsenic and found levels well above the allowable levels for drinking water.

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California winemakers are trying to restore the public’s faith in them following a damaging report from CBS News that questions the high arsenic levels in many low budget wines.

The Denver-based BeverageGrades lab tested 1,300 bottles of wine and determined that nearly a quarter of them had arsenic levels that are higher than the amount that the Environmental Protection Agency allows for drinking water.

The report certainly did not look good for wineries, which are not actually governed by the EPA. But that’s not stopping BeverageGrades from pursuing a class-action lawsuit against some wineries that were found to have exceptionally high levels of arsenic in their products.

A spokesperson for The Wine Group, which is named in the lawsuit, told CBS News:

“It would not be accurate or responsible to use the water standard as the baseline” because people generally drink more water than wine. He also pointed out that the highest level of arsenic cited in the lawsuit is “only half of Canada’s standard for wine, of 100 parts per billion.”

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