July 29, 2017 – Texas Border
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates alcohol throughout Texas from the manufacturing process through the wholesale distribution and into the retail establishments. In recent years their resources have had to switch to monitoring the border with Mexico because of a constant flow of fake alcohol being smuggled into Texas for resale. Not only is this fake booze a tax problem for Texas, it is also a health crisis. With unknown ingredients and questionable processing, the fake booze industry from Mexico risks the health of those that consume it in Texas.
The TABC has tax compliance officers stationed at border crossings from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley. They don’t just discover people trying to cross over with untaxed legitimate alcohol, they often uncover deadly fake alcohol. Recently released data by the TABC shows that on June 8 a jar of mescal was confiscated at the border. One of the traditional homemade alcohols of the Mexican culture that may not be deadly if produced in sanitary conditions with ingredients that are safe for human consumption. The problem is what is in these home-made products and how are they stored and processed.
On July 27th, the TABC confiscated Whiskey at Anzalduas port of entry that was being transported in a fuel stabilizer bottle. Even if the whiskey was made professionally, sterilizing a fuel stabilizer bottle to make it safe for a human consumable is near impossible. It does not stop the smugglers. On June 25th, the TABC stopped a shipment at the Laredo port of entry that had the potential to be equally deadly, when they 45 gallons of pulque in fuel containers.
A mixed drink can be refreshing, but mixed with diesel fuel and fuel stabilizers it has the potential to be deadly. Fake Alcohol is risky enough without mixing it with petroleum products.
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