A TOP doctor said producers of medicinal wines are adding chemical substances to
their products which are potential killers for unsuspecting drinkers.
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.
purchase a virtually pure alcohol, add water and mix in herbs and chemicals
until the alcoholic composition is down to about 20 percent."
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
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."
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.
deputy in charge of the Society of Khmer Distilleries, said: "Our business is
going to collapse if the government ignores illegal businesses.
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
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
"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.