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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

Wednesday, Sept. 17


AmCham’s Investment and Legal Committee Meeting convenes this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center at 9 a.m.


Learn more about the science of teaching English at today’s EFL Seminar hosted by the British Book Center. Revolving around the topic of learning styles, the workshop will help attendees better understand the different effective learning methods that can be implemented to learn English more effectively.



Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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