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Pravda - Slovakia | Friday, September 14, 2012

The fatal greed of alcohol adulterators

According to official figures, 18 people have died in the Czech Republic in the last few days from the effects of drinking adulterated, poisonous alcoholic beverages, while dozens more have been hospitalised. The case demonstrates the lengths people will go to to make a profit, the left-wing daily Pravda observes: "People drink alcohol, they always have done and always will, even though adulteration has always been a common practice. In Ancient Greece and Rome, wine was stretched with water. ... But nowadays the motivation is different: namely profit. It's one thing to 'spice up' new fermenting wine with a little sugar, but using methanol instead of alcohol is an entirely different matter. All the more so when it is done deliberately. You would think it's only in backwards countries that people die from the effects of poisonous alcohol. But even in Austria there was a scandal a few years back involving wine that had been adulterated with anti-freeze substances. ... Czech and Slovakian consumers tend to look at the price first, then the quality. The retailers are therefore always looking for ways to keep the prices low. But in this particular case the price has been deaths among consumers. The perpetrators must be harshly punished to deter others from such crimes."

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