PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Officials in Cambodia have reported 12 new deaths from drinking cheap adulterated rice wine, a perennial problem especially in rural areas. The Health Ministry says the new cases bring the death toll over two weeks to 24. A court has charged two wine producers and 11 vendors with misrepresentation of a product leading to death or disability. Rice wine is typically made in small batches in homes in the countryside and is popular at social events. Alcohol is sometimes added to boost the drink’s potency, but if not distilled properly it can contain toxic levels of methanol, causing blindness or death.
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