Lawsuit claims budget wines contain arsenic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed on Thursday against more than two dozen California wineries alleging their products contain alarmingly high amounts of arsenic.

That's according to a Denver-based lab that tested some of the most popular discount wines commonly available in supermarkets.

According to the group, Beverage Grades, they found high amounts of the element, upwards of four times the federal limit of the poisonous contaminant in some bottles.

The suit alleges winemakers misrepresent their products as safe to drink.

Some of the brands named in the suit are Menage a Trois, Sutter Home, Charles Shaw, Cupcake and Beringer wines.

"Consumers may be buying cheap wines, wines that are less than $5 dollars a bottle. But they may be paying with their health," explained Brian Kabateck, an attorney.

A trade group for California's wine industry refuted the claims about high levels of arsenic.

In a statement, they said, "We believe this allegation is false and misleading, and that all wines being sold in the U.S. marketplace are safe."
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