Brewer tagged in poisoning speaks up after ban of Cosmic Carabao Gin

July 17, 2019 - 1:23 PM
Cosmic Carabao Gin
Local liquor manufacturer Juan Brew Inc. released a statement after the Food and Drug Administration order the removal of its product, Cosmic Carabao Gin, from the market. (Juan Brew)

The manufacturer of the now-banned Cosmic Carabao Gin said that it is aware of the “unverified reports” on social media about its product and assured the public it is investigating the liquor with third-party laboratories.

Juan Brew Inc. reminded the public that the Food and Drug Administration has already taken action on the gin, although the manufacturer added it is also “engaging the services of FDA accredited third-party testing laboratories.”

It is conducting independent tests on the product “to determine any possible issue” in its production, JBI said on Facebook.

The brewing company also insisted that it has been registered with FDA since 2016 and is authorized to operate as a business until 2023.

“Since 2016, the Company was granted ten (10) individual Certificates of Product Registration (CPRs) for several varieties of beverages and not a single complaint was brought to our attention since then,” it added.

JBI said it is continuously coordinating with FDA and other relevant agencies while it has suspended the distribution of Cosmic Carabao Gin to the public.

Juan Brew statement
Statement of Juan Brew, Inc. about the “unverified reports” on social media about the methanol poisoning tagging Cosmic Carabao Gin. (Facebook/juanbrewonline)

There were Filipinos, however, who questioned JBI’s statement and pointed out that it failed to relay the gin itself did not have a certificate of product registration.

“Registered nga kayo, pero ‘yung Cosmic Carabao itself, hindi. Ba’t niyo dinistribute?” a Facebook user commented.

“Soooo, ayaw niyong aminin na kayo ang may sala? It’s interesting that you conveniently omit the fact that your Cosmic Carabao gin wasn’t approved by the FDA,” another user wrote.

The FDA previously revealed that while the manufacturer is licensed to operate and sell liquor, the gin’s application for a certificate of product registration has not yet been approved.

“Itong Juan Brewery, mayroon siyang license to operate na valid until 2023, pero itong produkto mismo itong Cosmic Carabao nu’ng pina-check natin ang registration kaka-apply pa lamang niya for registration for a certificate of product registration nitong end of May 2019,” FDA officer-in-charge Rolando Enrique Domingo said.

There were also Filipinos who questioned the manufacturer’s usage of the term “unverified reports” in its statement, noting that the gin has already been discovered to contain high methanol which caused the poisoning.

“Unverified? Ano doon? ‘Yung merong high level ng methanol ‘yung gin niyo? ‘Yung nakalason kayo? Sabi na nga ng FDA ‘di ba? Kaya nga i-co-confiscate ‘di ba?” a Facebook user wrote.

The FDA on July 9 ordered a complete seizure and ban of the gin in the market after it discovered the product contained methanol usually found in household products and aircraft fuel, among others.

Viral posts 

Last week, a series of unverified posts with the same message circulated on social media that claimed a certain disc jockey was poisoned for drinking Cosmic Carabao Gin.

The message, which was also forwarded by actress-businesswoman Alma Concepcion, warned people against drinking “all local craft beers and spirits.” It reads:

“Stay away from ALL local craft beer and spirits. Jess Milner is currently confined in the hospital for having drank Carabao Gin.”

“She has currently gone blind in her left eye and there are more reported cases of death upon consumption of these products. Locally crafted spirits do not go through any FDA regulations.” 

RELATED: Filipino craft beer brewers disprove claims over methanol poisoning

A community of local craft beer brewers debunked the allegations and said the process of making beers is “totally different” from the process for spirits, saying that methanol is not produced during beer production.

Methanol, they clarified, is only produced during distillation, the process of producing spirits such as gin.

While the case of the DJ remains unverified, her latest public posts on Facebook suggests she is on her way to recovery after hospitalization.

There were also allegations on Twitter that tagged Cosmic Carabao Gin in other cases of methanol poisoning.