An expose broadcast by state television revealed that wineries were doctoring their beverages with sugar water, colouring agents and artificial flavourings, and then falsely using famous brand names, the Global Times said.
The newspaper quoted a leading industry expert, Huang Weidong, as saying the additives could cause cardiac irregularities and headaches, and were possibly carcinogenic.
“We are highly concerned about this behaviour. To ensure safety measures, we have already started to remove the suspected wines from the shelves,” a spokesman for Beijing area Wal-Mart stores, Zhang Tao, told the paper.
The Xinhua news agency reported that provincial authorities had shut down nearly 30 wineries. Corporate accounts with funds totalling 427,000 dollars have been frozen, the Global Times said.
Read more about China’s nascent wine industry via CDT.