While we hear about fake products quite often chances are you’ve never stopped to think about whether there was a chance the drink you were buying at your local bar was ‘real’ or not. Apparently, as the new year rolls around, those in the UK are on high alert over this kind of thing.
The Local Government Association LGA recently seized loads of fake vodka from pubs, shops, and even home-based sellers. These ‘vodka’ bottles containing levels of alcohol that were so intense that they could cause vomiting, blindness, and depending on how extreme death or liver problems. While this whole concept might seem like something you would never experience in real life, with many going out drinking in new year’s it could become a reality for more than you’d think.
According to Sky News, this fake vodka will oftentimes smell like nail varnish and contain toxic ingredients like isopropanol that is found in antifreeze and some cosmetics. Some substances found within these fake drinks are also linked with organ damage and all could be potentially damning. The LGA has noted that those buying drinks, in general, should avoid unfamiliar brand names and any with crooked labels or spelling mistakes.
The Sun spoke with the LGA’s Vice Chairman Morriss Bright who told them as follows in regards:
“It’s appalling that rogue traders selling illegal alcohol are willing to play roulette with the health and well-being of their customers by prioritizing quick profits above safety.”
“We want people to enjoy their New Year’s Eve celebrations, but anyone buying alcohol needs to look out for signs it could be fake because it could leave them seriously ill and, in extreme cases, cost them their life.”
“Councils target businesses selling fake alcohol all year round, but generally step up operations in the run-up to the festive period when rogue sellers often seek to exploit demand.”
“Anyone selling illegal alcohol should think twice about stocking these dangerous drinks as we will always seek to prosecute irresponsible traders and encourage the public to report any suspicious business activities.”
Alcohol fraud in the UK costs around one billion pounds per year because they do not pay taxes. Retailers selling these fake alcohols could lose their licenses, face fines, and be jailed for up to ten years. This is not something taken lightly and shouldn’t be. In the past shopworkers have been ordered to pay almost three thousand pounds after selling fake vodka to customers who thought it was a top brand.
The LGA wrote as follows in regards to these dangerous drinks on their website:
Toxic ingredients in counterfeit alcohol often include industrial strengths of isopropanol – more commonly found in antifreeze, lotions and cosmetics – which can lead to dizziness, vomiting, anesthesia and even blindness, and can leave someone in a coma. Other substances found in fake bottles of spirits include ethyl acetate, which is normally found in glues, nail polish removers, and cigarettes, and can lead to organ damage. Acetaldehyde, another compound used in large-scale industrial processes and which occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages, is potentially cancerous if found in too high a volume.
What do you think about all of this? I feel it is something we should all be on the lookout for regardless of where we are. If it can happen there it can happen elsewhere as well.