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Wine lead limit set.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced an interim lead limit for all table wines, and has disclosed plans to ban lead-foil wrapping on wine bottles.

Earlier this year, the BATF reported finding lead levels ranging from one part per billion to nearly 2,000 ppb in table wines. The BATF has also detected traces of lead in beer and liquor, although levels were much lower.

According to the FDA, the interim limit will be 300 ppb for all domestic and imported table wines. Only 3 to 4 percent of wines tested exceeded the 300 ppb limit. The FDA plans to set a more stringent limit by the end of 1991, possibly bringing it down to 150 ppb.

The agency will also move to ban lead-foil bottleneck wrappings. According to the FDA, lead salts from the wrappings remain on the bottle rim after the wrapping is removed, and dissolve in the wine when it is poured.

"The scientific community hasn't found a level at which it can say that lead is safe," said James Mason, head of the U.S. Public Health Service. "Thus, our public health strategy [is] to eliminate exposure wherever practicable."
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Title Annotation:US Food and Drug Administration announces interim lead limit for table wines
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 16, 1991
Words:194
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