High levels of arsenic in popular wines?

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- If you like a glass of wine at dinner every night, you’ll want to read this.

A dangerous poison may be secretly showing up in some of the most popular wines on the market.

A new  lawsuit claims many low price, well-known wines, have dangerously high levels of arsenic.

“It is just really frightening, really frightening,” said Julie Collazo.

Keep in mind, the lawsuit says BeverageGrades, a testing company, analyzed more than 1,300 wines and found only 85 had dangerously elevated levels. But will arsenic in wine really harm you?

WINK News asked Dr. Timothy Dougherty, a toxicologist at Lee Memorial Hospital.

“We don’t have any knowledge whatsoever to know what these levels in these wines mean, if anything,” said Dr. Dougherty.

WINK News found out the FDA and EPA don’t regulate the levels of arsenic in wine, but they do regulate arsenic in water to only 10 parts per billion.

The lawsuit claims some wines had 50 parts per billion. But doctors tell WINK News, at that level, you’d have to chug nearly 20,000 glasses of wine to be poisoned by arsenic.

“If your brand of wine is on the list and you are a symptomatic, I wouldn’t worry about it,” said Dr. Dougherty.

On behalf of the wine industry, the Wine Institute released a statement to WINK News:

“We have learned of possible litigation alleging that certain wines pose a risk to consumers because they contain trace amounts of arsenic. Although we are not privy to the contents of the litigation, we believe this allegation is false and misleading and that all wines being sold in the U.S marketplace are safe.

Arsenic is prevalent in the natural environment in air, soil and water, and in food. As an agricultural product, wines from throughout the world contain trace amounts of arsenic as do juices, vegetables, grains and other alcohol beverages. There is no research that shows that the amounts found in wine pose a health risk to consumers.”

“We all have been drinking a lot of wine for a long time, I know I have,” said Jeff Gargiulo.

Gargiulo lives in Naples and owns a large vineyard in California. He says he has never heard of too much arsenic in wine.

“I think that the U.S. government has always done a great job at protecting our food, our wine, our beverages,” said Gargiulo.

For a complete list of wines listed in the lawsuit CLICK HERE.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.