This image shows Cosmic Carabao gin, which authorities are now looking into over reports that two women fell into a coma after drinking it.
Juan Brew/Released
FDA orders seizure, ban of Cosmic Carabao Gin after testing positive for methanol
Rosette Adel ( - July 9, 2019 - 8:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday called for the seizure and confiscation as well as a ban on local liquor Cosmic Carabao Gin after its investigation revealed that the alcoholic drink contained a high level of methanol.

“In the interest of public protection, the Field Regulatory Operations Office inspectors and Regulatory Enforcement Unit officers of FDA SHALL SEIZE AND/OR CONFISCATE ALL Cosmic Carabao Gin products available in the market,” Rolando Enrique Domingo, FDA officer-in-charge, said in an advisory.

The FDA said samples of Juan Brew’s Cosmic Carabao Gin collected and subjected for FDA analysis were found positive for methanol.

The administration made the analysis in view of the incident involving two unnamed women who allegedly consumed the supposed poisonous gin before they fell into a coma. One of them reportedly died.

READ: FDA, DOH probe local brewery over alleged death from poisoning

“Methanol is a widely available chemical that has many industrial applications and is also found in household products and fuel for aircraft. However, non-toxic trace amounts of methanol can also be naturally present in fruit juices,” Domingo said.

“This is also a product of natural fermentation and is found in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Higher concentrations of methanol in alcoholic drinks can happen when methanol is deliberately added to alcoholic drinks,” she added.

Juan Brew, which has yet to issue a statement on the supposed alcohol poisoning, described the controversial gin as “world citrus-forward gin that combines the finest natural botanical ingredients from: The Philippines, Vietnam, India, and France for your pleasure.” It said that it did not use syrups nor extracts in the small-batch craft gin.

The liquor manufacturer listed its ingredients as "distilled water, neutral spirit (from sugarcane), juniper berries, coriander seeds, dayap lime, angelica plant root, kaffir leaves, green, cardamom pods."

Meanwhile, following the results of its analysis, the FDA warned the public against consuming Cosmic Carabao Gin.

The FDA said victims of methanol poisoning might experience the following signs and symptoms: headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, hyperventilation and feeling of breathlessness.

“Blindness can also happen in severe cases,” it added.

The agency also warned the public that the implicated product is unregistered.

“The FDA hereby reiterates its previous advisories following the casualties due to the consumption of unregistered food products including alcoholic beverages that have not gone through this agency’s registration and testing,” Domingo said.

The product was apparently being sold since 2018, according to Juan Brew’s social media accounts and website.

Selling of Carabao Cosmic Gin now prohibited

The FDA asked local government units and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Cosmic Carabao Gin is not sold or made available in their localities.

The agency also advised the public to purchase only registered products.

“Consumers must also exercise extreme caution in buying alcoholic drinks, especially those that do not have labels, poorly printed labels or with broken seals,” Domingo said.

The Department of Health also earlier launched a probe into the alleged methanol poisoning and warned the public from consuming the suspected poisonous gin.

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