Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Chinese distillers caught lacing drinks with Viagra in police raids

Published:  04 August, 2015

Police in China have seized over 5,000 bottles of popular spirit baiju as part of an investigation into whether distillers are lacing their products with the drug Viagra, which is designed to treat erectile dysfunction.

The authorities also confiscated over 1,000kg of raw alcohol and a batch of white power labelled sildenafil, the generic name for Viagra.

Baiju is a clear, fiery, grain-based spirit which is hugely popular in China.

The investigation relates to products marketed as Kung-Fu Alcohol and Life-Nourishing Liquor.

The raid took place in the south western city of Liuzhou in the Guangxi region, which borders on Vietnam. Two producers were targeted, the Guikun Alcohol Plant and the Deshun Alcohol Plant.

Sales of Viagra increased by 47% last year in China after an aggressive educational campaign by manufacturer Pfizer.

The country's food and drink regulator has demanded that all producers conduct "comprehensive self-checks" for sildenafil on any health tonics and mixed alcoholic products. Any found to contain the drug must be removed from distribution by August 15.

Viagra is considered unsafe for men with cardiovascular problems.

It is illegal to add Viagra to food and drink products in China.

A businessman was arrested in Hubei province last year for adding it to some 2,000 bottles of alcohol, which he then sold at a premium, promoting its nutritional and healthy qualities.

China's poorly regulated food and drinks industry is a regular source of scandal.

Earlier this year, authorities seized 3bn-yuan of smuggled meat - some of it more than 40 years old - destined for small restaurants and food stalls across the country.

In May 2013, police broke up a crime ring that passed off rat and small-mammal meat as mutton.