Half of wine and 70 pct of cognac in Russia fake: official

Sunday 28 November 2010 01:00 GMT

Half of all wine and 70 percent of the cognac on Russian store shelves is counterfeit, a top alcohol market official said in an interview published Wednesday.

The fake wine and cognac is made out of "concentrates, aromatisers, and alcohol," said Vladislav Spirin, a policy official at Reh Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation.

Alcohol abuse kills around 500,000 Russians annually and greatly impacts male life expectancy, which is lower than in such developing countries as Bangladesh and Honduras, according to official figures.

The Kremlin has recently introduced a zero-tolerance alcohol policy for drivers, set a new minimum legal price for vodka and outlawed the nighttime sale of alcohol.

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