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Imported Tsipouro Health Danger

tsipouroMore than 20,000,000 liters of tsipouro are illegally imported to Greece from Albania, Bulgaria and other neighboring countries, according to the Greek Federation of Spirits Producers (SEAOP), and after being named Greek they are distributed in the market.
This tsipouro is dangerous for the public health, because in most cases hygiene rules are not respected during its production and packaging.
In the case of illegally imported tsipouro, rotten or overripe grapes are used and the grape marc is not separated from the grape stalks. As a result, a series of toxic substances, among which methanol that causes blindness, enter the final product.
The first and last stage of distillation, which also include a series of toxic and dangerous substances, are not divided. Consequently, there is more production, but the public health is at risk.
On many occasions, grape marc is mixed with sugar or molasses, so the product is adulterated. The stills used are not appropriate and as a result, a series of toxic metals are transferred in the tsipouro.
The product is packaged in plastic bottles, which is prohibited by law, because it has been proved that toxic and dangerous substances can be transferred from the plastic into the tsipouro.
“The Greek State loses millions of euros per year and is completely indifferent about the revenue lack and consumers’ health,” Nikos Katsaros, former President of the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) and current cooperator with the National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos, reported.
Tsipouro is a strong distilled spirit containing approximately 45 percent alcohol, product from the pomade of grapes particularly brewed in Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, the Mani Peninsula and the island of Crete, where it is called tsikoudia. In other areas of Greece the name raki is used.

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