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China Accused of Selling Contaminated Wine
China could be the next big destination for the wine world but it has already got a blotch on its reputation. Six people were detained while several wineries shut down and bottles pulled from shelves in China after authorities found wine containing several chemical additives.
According to AFP report, the incident happened in Changli County, in the central province of Hebei, the area known as ‘China’s Bordeaux’. An expose broadcast by state television showed that wineries were contaminating their beverages with sugar water, colouring agents and artificial flavours and then falsely putting famous brand names in he bottles.
"We are highly concerned about this behaviour. To ensure safety measures, we have already started to remove the suspected wines from the shelves," said Zhang Tao, a spokesman for Beijing area Wal-Mart stores.
The Xinhua news agency reported that provincial authorities had shut down nearly 30 wineries and corporate accounts with funds totaling 427,000 dollars have been frozen. More than 5,000 boxes of wine have been seized, the reports said, though it was not immediately clear how much of the adulterated wine was already on store shelves. Changli County produces one third of China's homegrown wine, state media said.
The reports come as China gears up for New Year and Lunar New Year celebrations - a ime when sale of alcohol traditionally increase.
The Chinese government has come under severe pressure from its citizens as well as foreign countries to improve the standard of its food and medicines.