Lawsuit Claims Very High Levels of Arsenic in Wines


It’s said that consuming wine (red wine mostly) in moderation can be a “heart healthy” thing to do, as the antioxidants in the wine are capable of preventing heart disease by increasing the levels of lipoprotein. In addition to its purported health benefits, our Delray Beach personal injury and product liability lawyers know that fans of wine savor the taste and relaxing effects of the grape-based alcoholic drink.

However, a new class action lawsuit is claiming that a number of wine manufacturers have been producing and selling wine containing dangerously high levels of arsenic, a chemical that is potential deadly if consumed in high quantities. While mere traces of the element are thought to be safe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a maximum level for how much arsenic can be in drinking water: 10 ppb (parts per billion).

Unfortunately, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg know that while there are federal rules regulating ingredient disclosure on the vast majority of food and drink products sold in this country, there are almost no federal regulations requiring wineries to contain on a label exactly what is inside the wine you’re consuming. Because of the questions raised by this lack of oversight, independent laboratories decided to do some testing of their own. What they found will make you think twice about the real health effects of consuming certain wines.

Some of the wine bottles tested by the laboratories (including those produced by discount brands such as Franzia, Mogen David and Almaden) revealed wine that contained 500% more arsenic than what is generally considered safe. One laboratory in Denver found arsenic present at 50 ppb, a level that is deadly over time. While 50 ppb might seem like an insignificant amount, you must consider the potency of arsenic, a chemical that has as many harmful effects inside the body as smoking a cigarette. (While the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the amount of arsenic in wine, the State of California has affirmed that 10 ppb constitutes an unsafe level.)

Perhaps even more shocking than the high levels of arsenic detected in California wines is the pattern that has emerged from the testing of different brands. One independent laboratory has charted a correlation between lower priced wines and higher levels of arsenic. In other words, if you can afford to pay a premium for wine, you’re less likely to have dangerous levels of arsenic in your wine than if you can only afford store-brand or similarly low-priced wine.

The class action lawsuit is claiming that a number of wine manufacturers misrepresented their wines as safe; it is reported that the plaintiffs will seek unspecified punitive damages and an abrupt halt to the sale of the arsenic-tainted wine.

Our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg know that product liability is an important issue in today’s consumer-driven economy. When companies produce goods and sell them to consumers, said companies have a responsibility to make sure that they aren’t making products (or in this case selling wine) that has the potential to harm those who buy it.

If you’ve been injured or harmed in some way due to the use of a product that you’ve purchased, please contact our Delray Beach product liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you. 

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