Fake vodka ‘could cause blindness’

16 December, 2008

Counterfeit vodka which could cause blindness in those who drink it has been discovered on sale in South Wales.

The vodka, which uses the Imperial branding of Spar’s exclusive-label spirit, has been seen on the shelves of independent off-licences in Swansea.

Chemical analysis has found the counterfeit brand shows high levels of methanol and, if consumed, this could lead to permanent loss of sight.

Swansea Council’s head of environmental health services, Martin Saville, said the fake product was distinguishable from the genuine article.

“The label on the front of the counterfeit vodka is a good imitation but one of its main distinguishing features is that the glass bottle has Quinn Glass and the code QI: 1445c embossed around the bottom,” he said.

“If opened, the counterfeit vodka gives off a chemical smell not normally associated with spirits.

“I’d urge anyone who sees Imperial Vodka on sale anywhere other than a Spar store to get in touch with our Trading Standards team immediately.”

The department can be contacted on 01792 635600.




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Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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