Czech authorities ban liquor after 19 poisoned

September 15, 2012

The Czech health minister has placed a total ban on the sale of liquor with over 20 percent alcohol, following 19 deaths attributed to methanol poisoning from bootleg spirits.

Friday's measure tightens up a ban on spirits with over 30 percent alcohol being sold by street vendors and market stalls, which was introduced on Wednesday.

"We have to toughen up this measure," Leos Heger said on public television Friday,

Most of the deaths, in the country's worst wave of alcohol in three decades, were due to drinks bought in shops and restaurants, he said.

The first case of methanol poisoning in the capital Prague had also been discovered, he added.

In comments made later on the daily Dnes newspaper's website, Heger said the ban, which will cover all outlets including hotels and plane flights, could last for "some weeks".

Vendors ignoring the will be subject to hefty fines.

The head of the spirits producers and importers union, Petr Pavlik, criticised the move, saying it would encourage the black market.

The 19th victim was identified as a 66-year-old woman from Havirov in the northeastern region, which has been worst hit by the poisonings.

Twenty other people remained in hospital Friday, some of them blinded, some placed in artificial comas and others in critical condition.

Czech police have so far arrested 11 people in connection with the matter.

The Czech Republic has the world's second highest adult after Moldova, according to latest data.

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2 comments

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Display comments: newest first

Eric_B
not rated yet Sep 16, 2012
jeez, it isn't that hard to make a still...

can't these folks find some stale bread or some other cheap non-toxic carbs to ferment?
RichMurray
not rated yet Sep 17, 2012
Methanol sources:

aspartame, E951 -

smoke from wood, peat, cigarettes -

fruits juices vegetables, especially tomatoes, sealed wet in cans -

many dark wines and liquors -

fermented, smoked, spoiled foods -

fresh tomatoes, black currants -

jellies, jams, and marmalades -

some fresh coffees -

chewing gum (often have aspartame) -

bacteria in the colon -

genetic flaws in metabolism -

vehicle fumes -

processed wood products of all kinds -

factories making leather, paper, particle board and plywood, or using solvents -

mobile homes -

As long as ethanol is in the blood, the ADH1 enzyme is preempted from turning methanol into formaldehyde right inside cells in 19 specific tissues -

This explains why people who never drink suffer more from many chronic diseases than those who drink about one alcohol drink daily -

WhileScienceSleeps -

TheTruthAboutStuff -

Prof. Woodrow C. Monte, Food Science & Nutrition

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