Reports: Franzia among wines with “very high levels of arsenic”

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After recent warnings about arsenic in apple juice and rice, the attention turned to wine.

With almost no federal labeling requirements to say what’s is actually in the wine, a Denver lab started running tests to find out for themselves.

The founder of the wine analyzing lab, Kevin Hicks, discovered that some wines have “some very, very high levels of arsenic.”

After testing more than 1,300 bottles of wine, Hicks found that almost a quarter of them had levels higher than the EPA’s maximum allowable amount of arsenic in drinking water: 10 parts per billion.

During his investigation, Hicks found a pattern.

“The lower the price of wine on a per-liter basis, the higher the amount of arsenic,” he said.

The tests included Trader Joe’s famed Two-Buck Chuck White Zinfandel, which came in at three times the limit, a bottle of Ménage à Trois Moscato was four times the limit and a Franzia Blush had five times the EPA limit for drinking water, according to CBS News.

When he took the information to the wine companies, they shut the door in his face. So Hicks took it to a lawyer.

“He was trying to get their attention; he was trying to blow the whistle on them,” attorney Brian Kabateck said.

A class action lawsuit was filed Thursday in California, accusing more than 24 California winemakers and sellers of misrepresenting their wine as safe.

Kabateck  says the ultimate goal is “to get the winemakers to recall these wines, to get them to refund the money that people paid for these wines, and ultimately to clean up the wine industry in California.”

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