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The Nation

December 15, 1987

A public interest group charged that urethane contamination may pose a cancer risk for nearly one out of every 200 Americans consuming moderate amounts of liquor. The Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a 70-page report, "Tainted Booze," in which the group said there are various amounts of urethane, a cancer-causing contaminant, in over 1,000 alcoholic beverages, especially bourbons, sherries and fruit brandies. The chemical is formed spontaneously in the manufacture of the alcoholic beverages. The center called on the Food and Drug Administration to set standards to keep alcoholic beverages with high levels of urethane off store shelves. Industry spokesmen rejected the center's report, saying it was just a rehash of previous statements rejected by the FDA.

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