General Article The dangers of fake alcohol

Topic Selected: Alcohol
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In recession-hit Britain, producing fake alcohol has been seen as a way of making money, and it’s sold cheaply. But it’s a problem because of the risks it poses to people’s health, causing anything from nausea to blindness and even death. 

What is fake alcohol?

Fake or illegally produced alcohol is alcohol that is produced in unlicensed distilleries or people’s homes and intended for sale. It is illegal to distil and sell alcohol to the public in the UK without a licence from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Since 2005, HMRC has seized nearly 15 million litres of illegally produced alcohol. They’ve also prosecuted 15 major criminal gangs involved in producing alcohol and not paying tax on it.

Meanwhile, Trading Standards Institute officers have reported an increase in fake or illegally produced alcohol being sold in the UK during 2011, much of which contained potentially dangerous chemicals.

‘We’re very concerned about this trend in the availability of fake alcohol,’ says Ron Gainsf...

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