MOSCOW — A Soviet health official, countering rumors circulating after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, denied Wednesday that vodka is a cure for exposure to radiation.
First Deputy Health Minister Oleg Shchepin was asked by the weekly Literary Gazette to comment on rumors that vodka and red wine were a good way of treating radiation and that bakeries in Kiev had started to sell alcohol as a result.
"All this gossip about liquor is the purest fantasy," Shchepin said. "I was in Kiev several days ago and I went to a shop. There was nothing of the kind there. The so-called medical qualities of liquor have no basis in scientific data. But the harm of alcohol under the influence of radiation is well known."