Wine has always had a following in the United States, even with the popularity of beer on the rise, and today is a day to embrace the bottle, since it is National Wine Day! With millennial’s drinking more wine than the generations before them, wine sells have increased in the past few years. But, like with anything, too much of a good thing has brought with it lawsuits. There was a recent lawsuit in which people sued over the levels of arsenic in about 80 different types of wines. All of the wines listed in the suit were less expensive, and are a lighter wine, or blush. It made me think to check out what is considered acceptable when it comes to arsenic in our food and beverage.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance in the earth. Arsenic can be found in soil, and since grapes grow in the ground, it is a small leap to arsenic being in the grapes used for wine. But what is safe when it comes to arsenic consumption. According to the EPA drinking water can have 10 ppb (parts per billion) of arsenic in the water you drink. Now, this is where it gets interesting. According to the NPR.org the EPA does not have standards for wine, but if you look at Canada their standard is 100 ppb. The site goes on to say, “none of the wines tested by Beverage Grades tested higher than 50 ppb. And three-quarters of the bottle of the roughly 1,300 bottles of wine reportedly tested below 10 ppb, which is the EPA’s allowable limit for arsenic in drinking water”. The result, the case was dismissed, since the bottles are labeled warning about drinking, and really much of the wine was satisfactory for the levels of arsenic found. If you are concerned with the levels of arsenic in your wine, then perhaps drinking a slightly more expensive bottle, or switching to red is a good plan for you. Otherwise, remember the levels found in most of the bottles, is the same as what is coming out of your tap, that you wash your fruit and brush your teeth with.
Enjoy your wine!