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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

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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