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Diageo sued over ‘whisky fungus’

Drinks giant Diageo is being sued by hundreds of residents who claim their homes have been blighted by ‘whisky black’, a mould caused by a natural byproduct of spirits production.

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An example of ‘whisky black’ mould

Residents in Scotland’s Banbeath are could be in line for a multi-million pound payout, if a test case lodged at Edinburgh’s Court of Session finds in their favour, as reported by the Fife Today. 

The black fungus, known as Baudoinia compniacensis, is believed to be caused by the alcohol that naturally evaporates during the whisky fermentation process with Diageo’s facility thought to be its source.

Hundreds of residents have filed claims against the company, represented by city law firm Balfour + Manson, arguing the distiller’s facilities in Levenmouth have caused the black fungus to spread smothering houses, cars and plants.

However Diageo however denies the link maintaining that black mould grows naturally in a damp climate.

A spokesman said: “At Diageo we are committed to maintaining the highest level of environmental standards and supporting the communities in which we operate, and we are taking this matter very seriously.

“While we are sympathetic to the concerns of the plaintiffs, the blackening of some buildings and structures is due to naturally occurring mould found widely throughout the environment, including in areas unrelated to the production of whisky.

“We do not believe that we have caused any harm to the plaintiffs or their property, and we are contesting these claims.”

The loss of alcohol from Scotch casks is a natural process and accounts for up to 20 per cent of the barrel’s volume commonly referred to as the “angels’ share”.

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