High Levels of Arsenic Discovered in California Wines

white wine

A Denver laboratory, BeverageGrades, has discovered high levels of arsenic in some of the most popular wines in the US, reports CBS News. file A class action lawsuit will be filed in California today accusing up to 24 wine makers of misrepresenting their wine as safe.

Following reports on the amount of arsenic found rice and apple juice, lab founder Kevin Hicks, who had previously worked in the wine distribution business for 15 years, took it upon himself to test out various wines and was stunned to find, “Some very, very high levels of arsenic.” Having tested 1,300 bottles, he discovered that nearly a quarter of them contained over the maximum amount of arsenic that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows in our drinking water—10 parts per billion. Hicks also discovered an odd pattern: “The lower the price of wine on a per-liter basis, the higher the amount of arsenic,” he explained. He hasn’t yet learned why.

On Hicks’s list are Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck White Zinfandel, which contained three times the limit of arsenic, Ménage à Trois Moscato at four times the limit and Franzia Blush coming in at five times the EPA limit.

One of the companies singled out in the lawsuit, The Wine Group, maintains that it is not “accurate or responsible to use the water standard as the baseline” for wine because federal government doesn’t regulate wine the same way, and there are no legal limits set for arsenic levels in wine at the moment. [CBS News][Photo: Flickr/Brett Jordan]