Vice Squad
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Norwegian Methanol Poisonings [Updated]

As Vice Squad has noted in the past, most recently with respect to 65 fatal poisonings in Bombay, high taxes replicate some of the less savory aspects of vice prohibition -- including the production and smuggling of underground, and possibly adulterated substances. Six Norwegians are recent, fortunately non-fatal, victims of a methyl-alcohol-laced beverage. Their poisoning apparently stems from drinking from the same batch of adulterated hooch that has killed 18 people in Norway during the last three years.

[Update, March 4: "Fifteen people have died from poisoning after drinking fake Turkish raki, a strong aniseed-flavoured alcohol, at an Istanbul restaurant." Even unadulterated raki contains some methanol, but the batch that killed these poor folks had much higher-than-normal levels.]

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