The State

The federal government ordered about 90 cases of an expensive French plum brandy recalled from Northern California shelves because samplings indicated the presence of wood alcohol. Director Stephen E. Higgins of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms emphasized that there was no indication it had been added intentionally to Vedrenne Mirabelle Brandy, distributed--in Northern California only--by Victoire Imports Co. of Richmond. But he said tests conducted in San Francisco showed an amount 0.03% higher than the allowable 0.38% of methanol. A spokeswoman for the bureau in Washington, D.C., said the methanol percentage indicated would not hurt anybody who might drink the brandy, adding that it was nothing like the methanol scandal that hit Italy last year, which ruined Italian wine sales around the world.

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