Recently, a lawsuit has been filed for specific low-priced California wines with high levels ofarsenic. We definitely don’t want to be consuming that, right? What exactly is arsenic? A lot of us remember the old movie, “Arsenic and Old Lace“. If you don’t know what happened, Mortimer (Cary Grant), discovers that his aunts were killing lonely old bachelors by serving them elderberry wine spiked with arsenic, strychnine and “just a pinch of cyanide”! Needless to say, that concoction was deadly!
Arsenic is a metalloid-a natural element that has similar properties of a metal, but is not actually a metal. It is a natural component of the Earth’s crust, generally found in trace quantities in all rock, soil, water and air. Since it’s abundantly found in the soil, we can assume that arsenic can be found in almost all food. Arsenic exists in many different forms. So, the question should be, “what type of arsenic is being measured in my wine?”
The Essential Living Blog has a great article that discusses a similar situation. They state that, ” “Chemicals” like lead and cadmium are as natural as the iron, calcium, selenium, and other minerals you get from superfoods, and because they are integrated into the tissues of these plant foods (aka “bound”), your body absorbs and disposes of them very differently from “unbound” man-made chemicals.” California has a VERY strict law in place that has forced companies to label their food with this: “Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or reproductive harm.” The law has good intentions, but as it currently stands, it’s a bad law.
Before coming to any conclusions based on the small amount of information given, we need to find out what the source of the arsenic was and whether or not it actually will harm the people who consume it.