Trading Standards exposes ‘concerning’ counterfeit rise

18 February, 2011

More than a quarter of off-licences in south west England were selling counterfeit

alcohol products last year, raids by Trading Standards have revealed.?A series of busts at the end of 2010 also found that 17% of drinks retailers in Manchester and 10% in West Yorkshire were selling counterfeit alcohol.?Trading Standards have warned shops to beware of such products, some of which contain high levels of methanol, which can cause dizziness and even blindness.?James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “This increase in counterfeit products is concerning, particularly as the production of these goods appears to be carried out by organised criminal gangs who are making products which could have a potentially damaging effect on customers.?“With the new wrongdoing penalties that came into force in April last year, retailers can no longer use the excuse that they were unaware that the product was counterfeit. The onus is on responsible retailers to ensure they are legitimate. Retailers must therefore be extra vigilant and only purchase goods from reputable sources.”?The ACS advised retailers only to buy from trusted suppliers, always get receipts and keep a close eye on labels for inconsistencies and bottle-fill levels.

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