Fake Wine Scandal In China Lowers Product Safety Credibility

Fake Wine Scandal In China Lowers Product Safety Credibility
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As we reported earlier this week, fake wine is now the latest in a spate of fake and toxic food products in China. Several major wineries in China’s premier grape-growing region were found to be producing wines with fake labels–and some bottles didn’t even contain real wine. The scandal could leave a deep wound on the credibility of the country’s growing wine industry.

Chinese officials accused five wineries in the Changli district of Hebei province of producing fake wines last week. Some of the wines apparently don’t have fermented grape juice—just sugar water mixed with chemicals, like coloring agents and flavoring. Some were labeled as famous brands.

Chinese state media reported authorities arrested six people, shut down three wineries, froze corporate accounts, and seized more than 5000 boxes of fake wine.

One of the companies, Jiahua had reportedly sold about 2.4-million bottles of wine per year.

A spokesman for Walmart in Beijing told Chinese media that suspect wine bottles had already been removed from shelves.

Some experts were reported as saying the wine additives could cause headaches, irregular heart beat and cancer.

Red wine is growing in popularity among China’s middle class. Retailers place China as the world’s fifth largest export market, but many don’t have the experience to distinguish fakes. Some wine makers say some genuine Chinese wines are so poor they don’t taste any better than the counterfeits.

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“I have tasted many wines of very low quality in China, which are really not good, and taste very odd, it has to be said. And in fact they come from the same region where these counterfeits are made.”

Customers like Yin Zuokun have changed shopping habits to avoid the frauds.

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“It’s hard not to be a bit worried, but people like us choose brands we are very familiar with that we buy regularly, and will go to the supermarket or specialized shops to buy them, so we don’t have to worry.”

The wine scandal is the latest in a string of product safety breaches in China that have alarmed consumers at home and abroad and have started some criminal investigations, convictions, and executions.

This entry was posted in Wine.

10 comments

  1. bustacapinlutha says:

    Fake eggs that contain poison, fake baby formula that sickened and killed infants, fake wine, pet food that killed thousands of cats and dogs. Their textiles contain dangerous chemicals whose vapors made thousands of people ill, fake phones. God only knows what else. I follow my 2 Chinese friends who say this “WE WOULD NEVER BUY ANYTHING MADE IN CHINA.”

  2. Jacob Khan says:

    Remember the Simpsons episode where Bart gets lost and kidnapped by wine growers in France. They forced him to bottle a mixture of brake fluid anti freeze and grape juice bottled as French wines? well let me tell you, the British were long time pirates. They used to produce clothes and toys in China with the label British Empire made. Not made in Hong Kong.

    The French were no different. They too produced cleanskins then sold them to a different company who would label them with the big brand names and ship them via Corsica with the help of the mafia. It reached the US in ship loads, Europe by barges and rail but no one ever said anything about it.

    The Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese were no different. As a former Interpol operative I had direct access to each of these scandals. No one really bothered to complain because the real stuff was sold to connoisseurs whilst the rest of it would go to would be connoisseurs and yuppies who knew nothing about nothing. It went on successfully because the French Spanish and Portuguese were all making money out of it.

    The same with art. No one really knows where the real art is stored or owned by these days. After Alfred Taubman took over Christies or was it Sothebys, he allowed the sale of fakes whilst it is believed he and his mates retained the originals to themselves.

    When the GFC came along, many of these paintings were either sold off shore or were “pawned” to offshore companies in the BVI, Israeli Banks, Switzerland and places where identities are kept secret.

    Bernie Madoff was not a crook. he was a banker like the rest but not part of the inner club than enjoys the lender of last resort protection of the Federal Reserve. The same applies to every big monopoly.

    The rest of us? We are just mugs.

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