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Russian Watchdog Finds Insect Repellent in Jack Daniel's Whiskey

Published: August 23, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • A Russian consumer protection watchdog has threatened stores still stocking Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Whiskey with legal action after it claimed to have found benzyl benzoate in the U.S.-made liquor.
    Photo: Lauren Finkel / Flickr

A Russian consumer protection watchdog has threatened stores still stocking Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Whiskey with legal action after it claimed to have found benzyl benzoate — a chemical commonly used as an insect repellent – in the U.S.-made liquor.

Jack Daniels has been fighting allegations of quality violations since last week, when a branch of Russia's consumer protection agency, or Rospotrebnadzor, in the Ural mountain region of Sverdlovsk claimed to have found chemicals not characteristic to whiskey in its bottles.

On Thursday, the agency sharpened its accusations by issuing a statement on its website saying that lab tests have found benzyl benzoate in the liquor. The chemical is used to repel ticks and mosquitos and is known to cause allergic reactions and damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Russia has been accused of using allegations of sanitary violations as a pretext to crack down on products originating from countries out of favor with the Kremlin. As Moscow's confrontation with the West over Ukraine continues, McDonald's was forced by Russia's food safety watchdog to close three Moscow restaurants on Wednesday. The U.S. hamburger chain now faces unscheduled inspections at restaurants across the country.

The consumer protection agency also said that it will prosecute sellers of the tainted whiskey, having instructed the product to be removed from the shelves.

So far, these actions have only taken place at the regional level, and allegations of quality control violations against Jack Daniel's have yet to move beyond the Urals.

Rospotrebnadzor last week also took issue with the labeling of the standard Jack Daniel's whiskey, claiming that it did not conform with a Russian law to label all ingredients in Russian.

The owner of Jack Daniel's Distillery has contested the allegations of labeling errors and quality control violations.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with today’s free exhibition in the city’s Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled “Under the Rustling Wings,” the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontov’s play “The Masquerade,” which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBA’s Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on “Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends.” Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmCham’s Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spa’s Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the city’s cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the city’s KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the club’s website or in person at either the arena’s box office or the club’s merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russia’s energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russia’s largest economic sector.



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