According to a report from CBS News, a proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in California against a number of America’s top-selling wine producers alleging that some of their wines contain dangerously high levels of arsenic. Specifically, they allege that certain wines contain up to four and five times the amount of arsenic the Environmental Protection Agency allows for drinking water. There are 31 different wine brand names listed in the suit, including, among others, Franzia, Menage a Trois, Sutter Home, Simply Naked, and Beringer.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of a study by Kevin Hicks of BeverageGrades, a wine analyzing laboratory. Because there are few federal regulations on the labeling requirements for wine, Hicks decided to see exactly what makes up some of our finest wines. After testing 1,300 bottles of wine, he made a shocking discovery. According to Hicks, “The lower the price of wine on a per-liter basis, the higher the amount of arsenic.” We here at Abnormal Use would have never anticipated such a revelation.
We know that hearing the word “arsenic” will always cause people to panic. However, we do not know whether the allegations contained in this new suit, if true, are a cause for any real concern. The effects of arsenic are seen upon high levels of consumption over extended periods of time. Water is the only beverage which the EPA has set arsenic limits because, presumably, people drink more water over their lifetimes than other beverages like wine. The highest arsenic levels cited in the lawsuit are less than half of the limits set by other countries such as Canada.
So, what does all this mean? We have no idea. What we do know is that there should be no surprise that wine from a box may not be as organic as you may like. We here at Abnormal Use were only surprised that our cheap wine favorites, Boone’s Farm and Mad Dog, didn’t make the list.