PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The class action lawsuit against 28 California wineries will not prevent Pennsylvania consumers from finding many of the wines on the shelves of their local wine and spirits stores, even though Kevin Hicks of Beverage Grade, who tested these wines, found “some very, very high levels of arsenic.”
Hicks found arsenic levels exceeded the EPA’s standard for water — 10 parts per billion — with some wine like Menage a Trois Moscato having 40 parts per billion and Franzia White Grenache having 50 parts per billion.
But many wine-lovers took it in stride.
John Kartic of McMurray said it doesn’t bother him at all.
“It’s not like you drink wine like you drink water, so it’s really not a big concern,” he told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
The United States does not regulate arsenic levels in wine, but Canada does, requiring wine to be under 100 parts per billion, which all these wines are.
“It could be something you should be concerned about, but overly concerned I guess I wouldn’t be,” said Richard Garlitz as he looked for wine at the wine & spirits store.
Stacy Kriedeman, director of external affairs, said the Liquor Control Board will allow the sales to continue, saying it is closely monitoring the situation, adding, “If there comes a point when federal authorities provide direction to retailers to stop selling specific products or a vendor recalls a product or products, we will act quickly to remove the products from our shelves.”
Of the 28 California wineries identified in this in this lawsuit, some 20 of them sell in Pennsylvania. and while the LCB is not recalling any of these wines, if you happen to have one you can return it to the state store for a full refund.
Beverage Grade’s tests found that the cheaper the wine the higher the arsenic level.
“I think if it’s in the lower cost wines, I’ll probably not buy them anymore,” noted Caroline Seeton of Upper St. Clair.
And many say it’s time for the feds to regulate arsenic level in wines.
“That is something that is incredibly important that should be done,” noted Susan Wholey of Bethel Park.
For a full list of affected wines, click here.