Wine from Austria containing toxic substance has been discovered on sale in Ireland.
The Department of Agriculture has been carrying out tests on Austrian wine imported into Ireland. Out of thirty two wines tested, five were found to be contaminated. Of the five contaminated wines, only one was actually on sale in Irish off licence outlets. The other wines were still in bonded warehouses.
The five wines found to contain diethyelene glcyol were: 1981 Ruster-Trockenbeerenauslese, 1983 Welsch Riesling, 1981 Gewürztraminer, 1982 Weissburgunder, and 1979 St Laurent Austrich.
Intensive testing is continuing on further samples and the results are expected next week.
The wine scare began when it was discovered that the antifreeze agent diethylene glycol had been added to some Austrian wines to enhance their sweetness.
The Department of Health is monitoring the situation and say that they are receiving full cooperation from the wine trade. They have no plans to seize any wines as retailers are monitoring stock themselves. Since the public was alerted to the wine scare, there has been a marked fall off in sales of both Austrian and German wines.
Paul Demery of O'Briens Off-Licence says that he does not see the Austrian wine market recovering for a number of years and the German market has also been affected as a result of the scandal. He says that the public is in no danger as they can rely on their off licences to act in their interest.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 August 1985. The reporter is Alan McCullough.