UK man's death blamed on bootleg vodka

Poisonous vodkaA man from Worthing in the UK died from methanol poisoning after consuming what is thought to be counterfeit vodka.

The details of the case emerged last week at the inquest looking into the death of 49-year-old Adam Bohm, and come just weeks after more than 25 people were killed by methanol-contaminated vodka and rum in the Czech Republic.

Three bottles of vodka were found at Bohm's apartment after his body was discovered and are believed to be fake.

UK Trading Standards warned earlier this year that there has been a five-fold increase in seizures of counterfeit alcohol since 2009. Fakes have been found to contain a range of noxious contaminants, including isopropanol, methanol and chloroform.

These types of chemicals can cause a range of symptoms and adverse effects, ranging from sickness and vomiting and abdominal pain to kidney or liver problems, coma, irreversible blindness and death. One major problem facing healthcare services in dealing with fake alcohol is that the symptoms of poisoning are often similar to alcohol intoxication.

The recent fatalities have prompted calls for manufacturers to adopt more stringent measures to curb counterfeiting, including the use of closures to prevent genuine packaging being refilled with counterfeit material and even a serialised coding approach for spirits analogous to the unique identifier system proposed for pharmaceuticals in the EU Falsified Medicines Directive.

In the Czech case, the Likerka Drak company whose products were being faked has since introduced non-refillable closures. A ban on the sale of alcohol above 20 per cent alcohol by volume (abv) has been partially repealed, but export of Czech spirits to other EU countries remains prohibited.

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top