Chairman of Liquor Board, says methanol found in some locally produced spirits


Chairman of the Liquor Board, Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio confirmed there is methanol in some of the locally produced spirits.

The Deputy Prime Minister did not pinpoint which locally manufacturing company he’s referring to when he spoke to the media on Thursday, noting the tests were conducted across the Country targeting local spirits.

The investigation by the Liquor Board follows calls by members of the public and NGO’s to shut down the local manufacturing company producing Rover, following the death of a man killed by his brother after a rover drinking sessions last month in Savaii.

Tuala told Radio Polynesia in an interview today, he’s the manufacturing companies have been told about their discovery.

He said the ethanal is used to clean the production equipment. Adding there is scientific evidence that methanal was found in not just rover but many other local spirits and they suspect the alcohol is tainted.

The Deputy Prime Minister said after the Liquor Board will deliberate on the report from the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa.

They will also table the report before Cabinet.

Adding there are two options either to shut it down completely or amend the laws that govern the production of liquor in the Country.

According to the World Health Organization report, methanol is a widely available chemical with a range of uses including as a solvent, in chemical synthesis, and as a fuel.

It has relatively low intrinsic toxicity, however, it is metabolized to highly toxic compounds, which can cause metabolic disturbances, such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar that can be life-threatening.