There’s arsenic in my Franzia? As an enthusiastic consumer of budget wines, this news has my attention.
On March 19, 2015 a complaint was filed in California Superior Court against a number of wine distributors including The Wine Group, Sutter Home Winery, Beringer Vinyards, and Trader Joe’s.
It states that the amount of inorganic arsenic present in some wine is up to 500% more than what is considered the maximum safe daily intake and that, over time, it could be dangerous to the consumer.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, long term exposure to toxic forms of arsenic may result in tremors, headaches, numbness, wart-like skin growths, and cancer, among other ailments.
The majority of the concerning wines are sweet whites and white blends, rosés, and a small variety of red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
The lawsuit seeks to represent all persons in California who have purchased any of the listed wines since 2011. With census.gov reporting that over 38 million people lived in California last year, we can assume that the list of wine drinkers eligible to join in the lawsuit is a long one.
The defendants have until Monday, April 30th to file a response to the lawsuit according to scscourt.org. The upcoming months, and perhaps years, are sure to be filled with accusations and denials regarding the consumption of harmful substances.
Maybe the wineries will come out on top and consumers will once again be able to order a glass of Moscato without the fear of developing skin growths or cancer; but for the time being, I think I’ll just have a beer.
Summons and Complaint. Irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com. Accessed 3/20/2015
Arsenic. Dhs.wisconsin.gov. Accessed 3/20/2015
State and County Quick Facts. Census.gov. Accessed 3/20/2015