In the Ukraine has been an outbreak of poisoning with a fatal outcome, and the reason for this surrogate alcohol. It is not excluded that there is a direct link between the poisoning and the catastrophic state of the Ukrainian economy. The impoverished population does not want to quit drinking – and buying more cheap alcohol, which often leads to death.
In just the last 10 days (from 21 to 30 September 2016) in Ukraine recorded 77 cases of poisoning with counterfeit alcohol, of which 38 cases ended in death. These are the data of the state service of Ukraine on food safety and consumer protection, reports “Interfax”.
“On the bar can be a beautiful bottle, and under the counter pour what you want. In shops, cafes and bars taking counterfeit boxes and trucks”
So, the first two patients received 21 September in a hospital in Zhytomyr region with loss of vision, a preliminary diagnosis of methanol poisoning. Over the next 10 days mass poisoning recorded in Kharkov, Donetsk regions and in Kyiv. For the production of alcohol used ethyl alcohol, while methyl is extremely dangerous for health. However, they are easy to confuse as these alcohols have the same smell and distinguish between them without a chemical analysis is impossible.
Dangerous methyl alcohol, most likely smuggling brought to Ukraine from abroad. “In Russia it (methyl alcohol) in large quantities is produced from waste oil refining industry, waste from wood processing,” says the head of the specialized wine-tasting Committee of the Association “Ukrvodka” Valentina Popova, according to the Ukrainian “Vesti”.
Director of the Russian Center of researches Federal and regional alcohol markets Vadim Drobiz believes this outbreak of methanol poisoning accident.
“It can not be linked with what has become the less control that the population has become poorer or illegal products became more. Such poisoning happens in every country. In the Czech Republic, for example, 56 people were poisoned a few days two years ago. In Turkey, UK, USA, India – everywhere there are cases of mass poisoning with methanol. It only says that the manufacturer just because no one is interested in the murder, instead of the normal ethyl alcohol methyl bought a barrel,” – said Drobiz.
According to him, assuming that poisoned 77 people, most likely, was accidentally purchased one 200-liter barrel of illegal methyl alcohol, from which it is possible to make 1000 bottles of vodka. And these bottles of methyl alcohol will still pop up.
In proof of his opinion the expert gives a comparison of the US and Russia. “The U.S. share of illegal alcohol is 10-12%. In Russia by the end of 2015, 55% of the total volume of strong alcohol. But poisoning from alcohol we have less than in the US. In Russia 140 million people etched with 11 thousand people a year, but in the US one and a half times more poisonings than in Russia, relative to the population,” – said the expert.
For comparison: in Ukraine each year from poisoning surrogate alcohol die 10 thousand people (data of who), that is actually the same as in Russia. But Ukraine is home to only 42 million in the three and a half times less than in Russia. That is poisoning happen in Ukraine per capita three times as often.
Ukrainian experts believe that cases of alcohol poisoning are the result of shadowing of the alcohol market and the lack of effective control over the production and sale of alcoholic beverages. This, in particular, in his interview to Ukrainian “Public radio” (“Public radio”) said the General Director of Association “Ukrvodka” Vladimir ostapyuk.
“When in government and in the government reforms there are structural and are not always useful changes, illegal business and corruption get fertile ground for development,” said Dmitry Lukashov from IFC Markets.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of economic development, by the end of 2015, the share of the shadow economy reached 40%. According to recent data, Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groisman, the volume of shadow sector of the Ukrainian economy reached $ 1 trillion hryvnias, or $ 44 billion, almost half of the country’s GDP.
Even if the current mass poisoning with methanol and randomness, here is a surge in the production of fake alcohol in Ukraine is natural for economic reasons. He caused another increase in excise duties on alcohol, which increases the cost of vodka to 60-70 UAH (146-170 roubles) per bottle. However, the income of Ukrainian citizens over the last couple of years has fallen sharply, so they are buying much more cheap vodka and grass.
“In a half-liter bottle of vodka – 32 hryvnia tax liabilities, but some manufacturers manage to sell their products at 35 and 45 hryvnia,” – said ostapyuk. “Now when a bottle of vodka should cost at least 70 USD, and it is sold for 39 hryvnias, what can I say?” – he adds. According to his calculations, the minimum retail price of a bottle of vodka 0.5 liters may not be less than 70 UAH, a bottle of wine – 33 UAH.
However, in the Ukraine (unlike Russia) have abolished such a thing as the minimum retail price of vodka. And it is very important to understand the purchaser what kind of vodka he becomes singed or official. Legal Ukrainian manufacturers appeal to government to quickly restore the minimum retail price, but the government only increases the rate of excise duty, says the head of “Ukrvodka”.
“Self-made vodka mainly deposited in small towns and villages, although many in Kiev. Palenque for half the price in Nalivaiko and bars sold in flasks from 10 to 20 L. the bar can be a beautiful bottle, and under the counter pour what you want. In shops, cafes and bars taking counterfeit boxes and trucks. Sometimes, bartenders separately brought vodka, separately excise stamps – they are already taping themselves. Second in the number of counterfeit cognac. The massive pouring of counterfeit happens on large holidays”, – told “Vesti” the head of the Union of consumers of Ukraine Maxim Nesmiyanov.
Ukrainian police also found that hazardous alcohol for methanol, which killed more than 30 people, was purchased just in small shops and stalls.
However, the demand always creates supply. Request cheap alcohol in Ukraine in recent years, given the state of the economy. On the one hand, prices are rising at double-digit inflation for the third year in a row, with another – real incomes fell sharply. If in 2013 Ukraine’s inhabitants earned an average of $ 400, now less than 200.
“In the structure of expenditures of households in Ukraine, according to preliminary data for the year 2016, the increased expenses on ZHKU – 22%. That’s a lot. In 2013, the cost of utilities was less than 10%. Overdone. Gas prices rose tenfold what you want,” said Ukrainian economist Oleksandr Okhrimenko. Also, due to the requirements of the IMF has sharply increased the tariffs for other utility services.
“For food we always have more than 50% of income is spent. It does not change. In second place was spending on clothing and shoes. Was 20%, now less. Then utilities, and entertainment always remained a small share of 3-4%,” – says Okhrimenko. Now, the cost of utilities will be the second after spending on food.
The residents of Ukraine began to eat worse and more and more are cutting back on food. Food sales in the country for six months fell by 20%, according to the State statistics service of Ukraine. Reduced consumption of meat and vegetables, dairy and fish products, juices and vegetable oil. Less steel to buy even sugar, pasta and cereals, reports TASS.
The extra money people are left. “Decreased savings. People have less to postpone. If earlier Ukrainians could put about 20% of their income, but now this figure is even officially less than 10% of the national average,” says Okhrimenko.