The Associated Press July 14, 2010, 6:13AM ET

Alcohol worries cause stink over kombucha tea

It's a fermented, pungent tea, but it's the alcohol that festers inside of kombucha that's causing a stink.

Regulators and retailers are worried that the trendy tea may need to be regulated just like beer or wine. That's because some bottles have more than 0.5 percent alcohol, which develops the longer they sit on shelves.

Alcohol labels would be a stark change for a drink that has been marketed as pure and healthy, able to cure ails such as fatigue and constipation.

Since last month, the government has been testing kombucha to determine if it should be labeled like beer or wine. Distributors and retailers like Whole Foods Inc. have removed the most popular form from stores. That's left fans searching for the drink.


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