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News Release

Reports of arsenic in Californian wines

Media reports suggest that several brands of wines originating in California may contain high levels of arsenic. Some of these brands are available in Alberta. Please note that, to date, AGLC has not received any complaints or reports of Californian wines containing arsenic at unsafe levels.

AGLC is committed to ensuring liquor products available for sale in Alberta are safe to consume, and on a regular basis works with liquor suppliers, other liquor jurisdictions, and federal agencies responsible for the safety of food and liquor products on quality control issues.

When liquor products do not follow Canadian food guidelines or are deemed unsafe for consumption, AGLC issues product recalls.

According to Health Canada, arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical element that can be found in very low levels in many foods. In wines, for example, there are two main sources of arsenic:

  • arsenic naturally occurring in soil that gets into the grapes, and
  • arsenic contained in pesticides.

If you have a complaint about any of the identified wines as being potentially unsafe, contact AGLC immediately at 780-447-8832.