Vodka 'not a simple solution' - Russian lawmaker
MP Sergey Furgal explained the need for the new bill by the fact that most vodka producers today use hydrolysis ethylene instead of spirits naturally distilled from organic products like grain. As a result, the only difference in most vodka brands and styles is the level of purification.
The current Russian national standard on vodka simply describes it as a “clear colorless liquid with a characteristic vodka smell without impurities and admixtures” and does not mention the details of the production process.
“We should introduce a new standard; write into the law precisely what is vodka and what is a simple alcohol solution. If producers choose to call their product vodka it should be made only through natural fermentation and distillation. Liquor produced through hydrolysis must be called “hydrolysis alcohol solution.” “The chemical formula might be the same, but the effect on the human body is completely different,” Furgal said in an interview with mass circulation daily Izvestia.
“I understand that this is a very harsh measure that could deal a blow to our vodka industry. But Russian vodka is a brand. And consumers must understand that ethylene solutions have no relation to vodka whatsoever,” he added.
The head of the Center for Alcohol Market Research Vadim Drobiz doubted the need for Furgal’s proposal saying that all legal vodka production in the country only use natural distilled spirits and regulating illegal enterprises using cheap solutions of hydrolysis products would be useless anyway.
The head of the Sober Russia movement – Sultan Khamzayev commented that the current industry standards were sufficient for customer protection and producers simply have to abstain from violating these standards.