Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Medicinal wines can kill, says doc

Medicinal wines can kill, says doc

Medicinal wines can kill, says doc

A TOP doctor said producers of medicinal wines are adding chemical substances to

their products which are potential killers for unsuspecting drinkers.

Dr

Heng Hout, Director of the Department of Medical Technique for the Ministry of

Health, said: "Many illnesses are caused by this alcohol, especially lung

disease, thin or leaky stomach and chronic cough."

"Our rural people do

not realize that these wines are harmful to their health, it would take a long

time for them to die, but we don't know how long."

Ping Siv Lay, the

Director of the Department of the Industrial Technology, explained to the Post

how the producers use cheap artificial methods to make their wine.

"They

purchase a virtually pure alcohol, add water and mix in herbs and chemicals

until the alcoholic composition is down to about 20 percent."

He

explained they then attach paper stickers to the bottles carrying the trademarks

of well -known reputable vinters who have legally sold wine in Cambodia for

years.

Advertisements on radio and TV market these wines as traditional

medicinal cures for common diseases such as heart conditions, lung cancer and

S.T.D's while also claiming the 'herbal' additives help drinkers to eat and

sleep well, relieve headaches and bodily inflammation and cure women's diseases.

Lay's department conducted tests on five traditional medicinal wines and

found their advertising claims were blatantly false.

"The tests also

found poisoning chemical substances which extremely affected the human body, we

found acid, eyanhydrique, aldehyde, and methanol in the wines."

A test

by WHO on a popular local wine found it to be laced with substantial quantities

of the addictive drug valium, while also having significant amounts of corticoid

and antibiotics in it.

Heng Hout said: "This is very dangerous, all kinds

of medicines have their own limited use, but the medicines in wine have no

particular use, and people are not limited as to how much they intake."

Heng Hout complained that the government has done little to protect

people from illegal products, especially false medicines.

Khout Hout,

deputy in charge of the Society of Khmer Distilleries, said: "Our business is

going to collapse if the government ignores illegal businesses.

"Their

customs and police have allowed alcohol to come into Cambodia without testing,

they want to collect taxes only and they don't care about anything

else."

Khout Hout explained that many customers do not want to buy the

SKD wine because it costs three times more than converted alcohol from Vietnam.

He said that this had led to a flourishing of the fake wine industry

with both production and consumption rapidly increasing over the last few years.

He also complained about the stealing of trade names and the rechecking

of wine quality in the markets saying the government has done little on these

matters.

"The government does nothing to stop crooked business, if this

kind of thing continues many people will suffer very badly in the future."

Heng Hout said the cheap price of the fake wines made them tempting for

rural people to indulge in.

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