Lawsuit claims wines contain dangerous arsenic levels

March 21, 2015

wine33A Lawsuit filed Thursday against more than two-dozen wineries claims they are producing low-cost wines that contain dangerously, high levels of arsenic, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angele Superior Court.

The suit claims dozens of wineries are violating California state law by knowingly producing, marketing and selling arsenic contaminated wine and failing to warn consumers about the potential danger. Only one of the wineries named, Corbett Canyon, is located in San Luis Obispo County.

Some of the popular wine brands named in the lawsuit include Franzia, Ménage à Trois, Sutter Home, Wine Cube, Charles Shaw, Glen Ellen, Cupcake, Beringer and Vendage. The wines named in the lawsuit are primarily inexpensive white or blush varietals including Moscato, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Find a full list of wines here.

Trader Joe’s and several wineries issued statements Friday saying that they intend to challenge the allegations.

“While we do not comment on pending litigation, we are investigating the matter with several of our wine-producing suppliers,” said Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Rachel Broderick in a statement. “We will not offer any product we feel is unsafe. Ever. We have no reason to believe the wines we offer are unsafe, including Charles Shaw white zinfandel.”

The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of California consumers who purchased the wines in the last four years.


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11 Comments

  1. Perspicacious says:

    Probably the same people filing the bogus formaldehyde lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators. Might sue God over light pollution when the moon shines next.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. SLO_Johnny says:

    There are trace amounts of arsenic in almost everything that we eat. Most soils contain decomposed granite. Decomposed granite contains trace metals like lead, cesium, arsenic, copper, iron, manganese, etc… Human beings are evolved mammals, which have been on earth for hundreds of millions of years. We are well adapted to the environment and trace amounts of arsenic have no measurable effect on us.
    I knew that these types of lawsuits would be endless after Prop 65 passed. Prop 65 is just a trick that lawyers put into law to generate revenue.

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  3. TacomaRose says:

    I’m not a connoisseeur of wine so I am having difficulty getting my head wrapped around this article … How does arsenic get introduced into wine during processing?

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • hijinks says:

      It doesn’t come from processing. It comes from the grapes, which get it in one of two ways: arsenic in the soil in which they’re grown, and arsenic in the ground water with which they’re irrigated. Both soil and ground water arsenic contamination are problems in much of California.

      Same story for rice, too. Google it.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  4. r0y says:

    While I’m sure class action suits are needed somewhere at some point, whenever I see:
    The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of California consumers I roll my eyes. The “victim class” NEVER recovers anything substantial, it’s always the “legal class” that soaks the companies for the shake-down.

    I remember reading, not too long ago, about how AT&T ripped off customers for years (I was one, but kept catching them and stopping them) and now pays $105 to the government, and the government will “re-distribute” – why? Why not just REFUND the consumers? Two reasons: 1) We do not know how much AT&T made (total) off the scam, and 2) The government will skim off most of the settlement.

    So with these wineries, how or what would they pay if found guilty of a technicality? I mean, I do not recall any issues arising from any tainted product (it’s too easy to say, “we’ll never know the long-term effects…” – that’s for anything!). We all get a free case (or bottle) of two-buck Chuck?

    Class Action suits are only profitable to the lawyers and the companies that settle them. I often will see that the damaged party’s settlement is a coupon good for goods and services with the very company that damaged them.

    (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
  5. ajdury says:

    I’m a tad disappointed this “story” got cut & pasted here.

    My 22 year old niece debunked it via snopes two days ago.

    (-4) 14 Total Votes - 5 up - 9 down
    • Citizen says:

      The story about the lawsuit is being carried nationwide by the Associated Press. Snopes says the allegations are “unproven”, but the law suit has been filed..

      (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
    • hijinks says:

      The only debunking in snopes is PR from the wine distribution companies, which came up with such brilliant “defenses” as people drink more water than wine, so who cares? Wow — that’s brilliant.

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
      • hijinks says:

        And I might add that nobody to date has questioned the findings that large amounts of arsenic is in the wine.

        The big question is how much of our food/beverage supply is contaminated by arsenic. There’s also the issue with rice. What else?

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. Vagabond says:

    Hmmmm. follow the money:
    http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/arsenicwine.asp

    The testing company stands to make some serious coin.

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
    • hijinks says:

      Not necessarily. Any analytical company can perform analyses on wine if others want to retest to see if the results are accurate. Nobody has a monopoly on this sort of testing. It’s pretty elementary. With a bit of knowledge, you could do it yourself.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down

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