VIJAYAWADA: Special Chief Secretary for Government Excise, Rajat Bhargava, said on Monday that testing of alcohol samples did not reveal the presence of any harmful substances like Scoparone, Volkenin and Pyrogallol.
He said MP Raghurama Krishnaraju had written to Prime Minister Modi saying that such harmful substances had been found in alcohol samples sold at APSBCL retail outlets in the state. Standard manufacturing practices for drinking alcohol were not followed when producing the samples, he said.
Bhargava said the allegations were groundless and false. “The state government would bring a criminal action against the deputy for ‘defamation and loss to the AP government’.
He said that upon receipt of the above report, the APSBCL asked SGS Laboratories to look into the matter. SGS has informed the APSBCL that the samples have not been tested in accordance with IS 4449 (Whiskey) and IS 4450 (Brandy) standards as this was not requested by those who submitted the samples for testing. SGS has not interpreted or verified that substances such as Scoparone, Volkenin and Pyrogallol found in the samples were harmful.
He said that individuals (Chaitanya and Pavan) had sent unauthorized alcohol samples, “and it was not possible to confirm whether the samples were purchased in Andhra Pradesh state and specifically s ‘they came from an APSBCL outlet’.
He added that it was unclear whether the samples submitted for testing were in an altered state or not. “These unauthorized samples were sent to SGS laboratories for testing with malicious intent, without following the standard sampling and testing procedure.”
The chemical laboratory (Guntur) stated that for the above mentioned substances there are no values, the permissible limits are not mentioned and they seem to be in trace amounts.
“To improve alcohol testing in the state, APSBCL has increased the number of samples taken for testing and improved testing methods. So far, no incidences of harmful substances have been found. Currently, all liquors made in distilleries in Andhra Pradesh had been licensed before 2019,” he added.