If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the wine industry, particularly the wine industry in the United States in regards to wine produced in California, you’ve probably heard a lot of doom and gloom recently.
That’s because the wine industry in California is currently under serious investigation, all of it stemming from elevated levels of arsenic that are contained in cheaper bottles of wine.
And while the wine industry itself is fighting back against these lawsuits, alongside a number of wine experts throughout the country – and around the world – that argue this is a lot of nothing made into a major scandal, it’s important that you understand exactly what’s going on so that you make sure you aren’t consuming wine that is anything but 100% safe for you.
Hopefully we are going to be shed a little bit of light on the situation, giving you some inside information about the current state of California wine and what they are doing about this arsenic problem.
California winemakers are finding themselves in a very sticky situation these days
A recent class-action lawsuit filed recently in California against some of the most prominent US winemakers claims that many of they are cheaper options contain between four and five times the maximum amount of arsenic that the EPA allows in drinking water.
This is no small issue.
According to information recently released, a Denver laboratory has been running tests on different bottles of wine offered by some of the most influential companies in the business, and a considerable amount of them all have elevated levels of arsenic in the bottles.
A representative from this laboratory named Kevin Hicks has reported that nearly ¼ of the 1300 bottles that were tested all showed increased levels of arsenic, far outpacing the amount of arsenic that the EPA allows in drinking water.
Arsenic is a very dangerous chemical, linked to numerous forms of cancer, and is a tremendously dangerous poison that many people may be consuming on a day to day basis without even knowing what’s going on.
And that’s why the lawsuits have been flying.
The lawsuits have only just begun
As we touched upon above, there was a recent class-action lawsuit filed in the state of California against almost all of the top-tier California winemakers claiming that they knowingly produce bottles of inexpensive wine that contain elevated levels of arsenic and aren’t doing anything about it.
Not only is this class-action lawsuit seeking punitive damages (hundreds of millions of dollars), but it’s also lobbying for a complete transformation of the way that winemakers label their bottles. Right now, winemakers have been lobbying pretty heavy against legislators against putting any extra information on their bottles about their ingredients whatsoever, and they have been winning this war.
Because of this arsenic class-action lawsuit, the tide may be shifting considerably.
Here are only a handful of the California winemakers that are getting hammered by these lawsuits
A considerable amount of California winemakers have been listed in this class-action lawsuit. In total, 83 different winemakers and wines are listed in this class-action suit, which makes up a substantial amount of the winemakers in California. This is big, big news.
The future of wine production in California and how the industry is adjusting to this epidemic
Just last year, America was able to officially dethroned France as the largest market for wine in the world, with America exporting close to $1.5 billion worth of wine to the rest of the world. This is big business.
If domestic and international customers are no longer able to trust the wines that are produced in the California region, this could completely cripple the area that has long been known to be one of the most fertile for winemakers – changing the landscape of the industry almost entirely.
It will most certainly be interesting to see how things shake out as far as this class-action lawsuit is concerned, and hopefully things will be able to read resolved rather quickly. However, it’s like any other class-action lawsuit, it’s almost certainly going to be a long, slow, and drawn out process that ends in a settlement.