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Wedding rice wine blamed for Stung Treng man’s death

Rice wine consumed at a wedding in Stung Treng’s Sesan district is suspected to have caused one man’s death and another’s hospitalisation on Monday.

The incident adds to a deadly national tally that created widespread concern late last year – including calls from the Ministry of Health to avoid the homemade brew altogether – while a law meant to regulate alcohol production remains stuck at the Council of Ministers.

Sesan district police chief Orn Sam Ath identified the deceased as 27-year-old Sot Chan, who was drinking with relatives at a wedding in Srekor commune.

“He served himself and he convulsed and died after he bottomed three glasses of wine,” he said, adding that the cause of death is not yet confirmed, pending test results. Sam Ath said that the other victim has since recovered.

The draft law on alcohol regulation, completed in July 2015, was forwarded to the Council of Ministers where it has sat since is to include controls on informally produced alcohol.

Yel Daravuth, alcohol specialist at WHO Cambodia, said he has yet to hear an update since it was forwarded by the Health Ministry.

Dr Mom Kong, director of the Cambodian Movement for Health, yesterday said his group is continuing to advocate for alcohol regulations, despite the draft law being “stuck there”.

“We ask for support from the policymakers,” he said. Spokespersons for the Ministry of Health, Council of Ministers and Ministry of Commerce could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Additional reporting by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon



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