Poison Plonk: A deadly wine scandal in Italy

A deadly wine scandal in Italy

All across Western Europe last week, consumers were looking at bottles of Italian wine with suspicion and alarm. And with good reason: eight Italians died and some 30 were hospitalized after drinking red Odore Barbera, a northern Italian wine that was contaminated by as much as 5.7% methyl alcohol, a deadly dose way above the legally permitted limit of .3%. The scandal widened when a woman from the Piedmont region of northern Italy was hospitalized after drinking a bottle of Fraris Dolcetto del Piedmonte that contained methyl alcohol, which is normally used in antifreeze.

Italian officials reacted swiftly, fearing that the...

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