MOSCOW, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A claim by Russian brewers that the country's top drug and alcohol control officer had slandered beer has been thrown out of court, officials said.
The Union of Russian Brewers had sued Yevgeny Bryun for "demonizing" beer by claiming brewers added pure alcohol to increase its strength, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.
"Taking advantage of his position, Bryun indulged in statements that add to the demonization of beer, making brewers responsible for social woes and distracting from the true causes of-- low living standards, corruption and widespread illegal alcohol sales," the Union said.
The dispute comes at a time when alcohol consumption is increasing after the breakup of the Soviet Union, with serious impact on Russians' health, causing high mortality levels especially among working-age men, RIA Novosti said.
"A lot of beer is produced in Russia, but you cannot drink it," Bryun said in December on a Moscow radio station. "Beer and other tinned low-alcohol beverages are a real chemical weapon."
The brewers had demanded a retraction, but the Moscow court threw out their case, the news agency said.