China: Viagra Active Substance Detected in Wine

On July 31, 2015, CFDA – China Food and Drug Administration, issued a statement notifying the public that illegal substance was detected in the so-called ‘health’ wine and ‘blended’ wine produced in China. The presence of illegal substance was reported during the inspection conducted by state and provincial FDA.

Viagra active substance detected in wine

After the initial investigation, a total of 51 companies were found to have been adding Sildenafil (active pharmaceutical ingredient of anti-impotence drug Viagra) and other chemical materials into 69 kinds of ‘health’ wine and ‘blended’ wine. The products’ names, logos and labels had been advertising or implying beneficial sex health function.

What are health and blended wines?


Health wine
is a Chinese wine category, containing Chinese herbal medicine as ingredient. Health wine belongs to the category of health food products.

Blended wine is wine containing other food ingredients and/or food additive, such as for example fruit juice.

What does Chinese Food Safety Law say?

According to the Chinese authorities, adding Sildenafil (or similar active substances) into ‘health’ wine or ‘blended’ wine is considered a violation of Article 28 of the Food Safety Law. The Food Safety Law states that: “Production and trading of the following foods, food additives and food-related products are prohibited: Foods that are produced from non-edible materials, or from chemical substances or harmful substances other than food additives, or foods produced from recalled foods”.

The authorities consider the production and ditribution of toxic and harmful food to be a crime.

Actions undertaken

  1. Food Operators - Chinese authorities have urged all health wine and blended wine producers and distributors to conduct self-inspection immediately. In cases when any problems product are detected, production needs to be stopped, products recalled, and in case when problems are detected by distributors, they need to report producers to local FDA.
  2. Local authorities - All local FDA offices have been requested to conduct special inspection on health wine and blended wine immediately.
  3. Central authority - State FDA has issued advice for consumers not to buy or drink the products that have been listed as unsafe. Also, a contact hot line was established for consumers.   

For the original information source, please go here (in Chinese).