Sunday, April 22, 2012

unintended consequences of the war on alcohol

The Sun has an article today about "fake alcohol". Ignoring the sloppy terminology as all alcohol, be it methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol or 2-(2-propyl)-5-methyl-cyclohexane-1-ol is correctly described as such, the article warns that seizures of counterfeit alcohol products are on the rise
Trading Standards officials are now warning drinkers to be on the look-out after the number of fake booze seizures rocketed by FIVE TIMES in just three years. The number of UK busts rose from 31 in 2009, to 148 in 2011.
The article warns of how dangerous these counterfeited copies of major brands are because
There are no controls on the production of fake booze so you don’t know what you’re getting
and while it briefly acknowledges that the
The high costs of legitimate alcohol .... driving criminals into production
also tries to blur the lines between illegal distillation and legitimate homebrewing. Which is poor at best, a worrying sign at worst. Brewing produces very little methanol as the yeast ferments the sugars whether done on a home, prison, or commercial scale. The problems associated with methanol occur with poor distillation in unsuitable, unregulated, conditions.

As the war on alcohol intensifies expect to see more dodgy, unsuitable, unregulated illegal stills being found by Trading Standards or the police. The higher price, minimum price especially, that is always being demanded by the likes of Alcohol Concern and the BMA is making illegal production ever more appealing. Who'd've thunk it?


James Higham said...

I get the feeling they're pushing for prohibition days to be imposed, reasoning that most people are too uneducated today to know much about the American situation.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"poor distillation in unsuitable, unregulated, conditions"

I wouldn't say "unregulated", I'd say "unskilled".

Those of us who spent some of our formative years in chemistry labs know exactly how this ought to be done.

Or so I'm told...