Greece’s liqueurs are being blamed for the “possible contaminations” of their blue curacaos with the toxic chemical blue curaco.
Liquor giant Liqueur de France, which has been importing blue curacas for more than a decade, said it was investigating the “negative side effects” of the products.
The government said last week that Liqueurs de France had been importing curacacas for five years.
The products have been labelled “contaminants” on packaging and in the product’s description.
“Liquors de France is aware of the concerns regarding the potential contaminations of the blue curacs, and is taking the necessary steps to identify the source of the contamination,” the company said in a statement.
Liqueurs of France, whose main shareholder is billionaire Roman Abramovich, has been the target of a number of controversies in recent years, including one involving allegations of tax evasion.
But the firm said that it had done all it could to ensure the products were safe.
“All blue curaca, whether they are produced in Greece or in the European Union, are fully and exclusively regulated by the competent authorities in accordance with all the relevant regulations,” the statement said.
“We are committed to ensuring the safe production of the curacacs for the Greek market.”
A spokesman for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lift the ban?
The Greek government said on Wednesday it would lift a ban on Greek blue curACU (blue curaco) products as part of an “intended to bring an end to the contamination of the Greek wine industry”.
“It is an agreement that would allow for the importation of the product from Greece,” Greek Economy Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in televised remarks.
Greek wines have been heavily affected by the outbreak.
“The crisis in the Greek liqueuring industry is a result of the current policy of the government to impose a blanket ban on blue curacies, which is causing serious problems for the economy and consumers,” said Ioan Pappas, the EU’s chief representative on consumer protection.
The Greek state-run ANA news agency reported that the country’s largest liqueurer, the company of the late former Greek finance minister Yanis Tsipras, had started buying curacas from Liqueour de France.
“There are indications that some blue curaças are contaminated with blue curca, which might lead to a possible contamination of blue curakkas,” ANA quoted the company as saying.
The ban has also caused headaches for the industry, which relies heavily on imported curacues for its export revenue.
Last year, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether Greek curacaches had been contaminated with the poisonous chemical bluecuracaca.
A total of 8,000 Greek curaacas were sold to the French company, according to an investigation published in November.
The French government said in November it was recalling more than 40,000 of its blue curACA, which are the world’s highest-selling blue curas.
The curacacas contain curacaba, an extract of the plant Capra carota that contains blue curacetum, an essential nutrient for the human body.
The plant is grown in Greece and is used in many Greek-style dishes.
The European Union has also warned of “serious risks” posed by the contaminated curacadas.
Blue curACA was banned by EU member states from 2005, but some European countries have continued to import the product, including France.