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These Chinese distillers were putting Viagra in their liquor

Bottles of baijiu are displayed at a store in Beijing.Bottles of baijiu are displayed at a store in Beijing.
Bottles of baijiu are displayed at a store in Beijing.Photograph by Liu Jin — AFP/Getty Images

Two distillers in China are under investigation after authorities discovered they were adding an unusual ingredient to their strong spirits: Viagra.

Around 5,357 bottles of baijiu, a harsh grain liquor that’s about 40% to 60% alcohol by volume, were confiscated by law enforcement officials in Guangxi’s Liuzhou city after investigators found traces of Sildenafil — more commonly known as Viagra — in three baijiu products, according to Reuters.

Around 1,124 kg of raw alcohol and a batch of white powder labeled Sildenafil were also seized, according to a statement posted by the Liuzhou Food and Drug Administration on its website. The products were marketed as having “health-preserving qualities.”

The discovery marks yet another chapter in the issue of food safety and fake products in China. In June, Chinese officials seized around 100,000 tons of smuggled meat worth 3 billion yuan ($483 million) after they discovered some of it was years old and rotting away. A recent study by AsiaInspection showed that 48% of Chinese food processing plants fail to meet internationally acceptable standards, according to CNN.