ARSENIC - Denver company's tests on wine triggers lawsuit


Here is an interesting article that gives more detail. Many other things with higher levels of arsenic. Gives details and Seems someone is trying to make some money.

I don’t begrudge a lab trying to make money by testing food, water, wine for compliance and safety. Someone needs to do it and neither State nor Federal agencies do. I’m surprised that Snopes is so dismissive of this arsenic issue. They need to check themselves for unsubstantiated claims like this from their site: “The U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the agency that regulates wine, beer and spirits, monitors wines for compounds, including arsenic, as part of its testing program.” False. There is very little testing by TTB (or their certified chemists), and when they do test, it’s almost exclusively for export markets. Furthermore, arsenic is not on the TTB list of substances for analysis. Arsenic in wine is a symptom, and a distraction from dealing with the source of the problem, and that is nothing short of a catastrophe.

Here are the facts from UC Davis. Funny how facts always seem to get in the way of a good viral tabloid news story.

By the calculations in the link I would first have to find a wine with high levels of inorganic As III or As V and then drink, per my body weight, 6-7 750ml bottles of that wine every day in order to just reach daily allowable safe limits as set forth by the EPA. Twice as much if I used the European limits. I would die of Liver function issues long before I had an inkling of Arsenic poisoning.

And then there’s this article:

While not wanting to suggest the arsenic story has any legs, I’m not sure I’d call that an article.


I was curious about this - here in Oregon we have so much rain you would think arsenic in the soil would dilute quickly. I don’t irrigate my vines. I found lab results on one of my wines that tested for arsenic and it was non-detectable in their tests which cut off at less than 10 ppb (the drinking water threshold). I would expect other Oregon wineries would have similar results? Anybody?
If the wines are irrigated with groundwater (which seems a likely source) this map might give an idea of hot spots:

That map shows something that Ken Zinns mentioned earlier, namely that the prevalence in California is mainly in the Central Valley. That is likely related to fertilization for heavy crop loads, and possibly heavy irrigation on land that was formerly a seabed. This correlates with the finding that the larger levels of Arsenic (albeit still below standards set in Canada or EU) were in in lower priced wines with heavily cropped Central Valley fruit.


In addition to the central valley grapes having a higher concentration. The last thing I heard on this topic is that a major contributor was the concentrates that were added had very high levels as they are often made from central valley grapes as well. I would assume that would be grape juice concentrates as well as color concentrates.

Just one more reason for ingredients labeling (which we do on all our wines “grapes and sulfur” or “grapes, tartaric acid, and sulfur”) which I would like to see much more of voluntarily so that it may not have to be regulated to be manditory. I would be interesting to see wine listed with “not from grape concentrate” or “XX% from grape concentrate” like most things regarding wine ingredients most don’t concentrates are even used in winemakeing.

Case dismissed California Court Dismisses Arsenic Lawsuit Against Wineries | Wine Spectator