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LCB Finds Poisoned Austrian Wine In Stocks

July 31, 1985

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ The state Liquor Control Board says it is continuing tests on some Austrian and German wines following the discovery of a poisonous chemical in two bottles of Austrian wines.

The board removed all Austrian wine from its speciality shops July 19 after reports of the contamination surfaced in Austria.

Board Chairman Daniel Pennick said he has ordered that German wines also be tested, since there are unconfirmed reports that at least four brands were contaminated. But he said federal authorities have no information that any contaminated German wines have reached the United States.

The board’s laboratory found diethylene glycol, used to make antifreeze, in samples of Ruster Trockenbeerenauslese 1979 and Ruster Eiswein Traminer Auslese 1978, said spokesman Robert Ford. Both sell for about $15 a bottle.

The wines were carried only by the board’s 17 wine speciality stores and all 120 bottles in stock around the state have been sent to the lab in Harrisburg, Ford said Tuesday.

Over the past year, 233 bottles of the two affected brands were sold in Pennsylvania, he said. He could say not how the tainted wine would affect health.

The board said Austrian authorities speculated that the chemical was added to cheap wine to make it smoother or sweeter and enable the wine to be sold as a premium at higher prices. The board’s lab found no contamination in six other brands of cheaper Austrian wines, Ford said.

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