The making of illegal whiskey - known as moonshine - in the United states is said to be on the decline, but it's still big business.
The making of illegal whiskey - known as moonshine - in the United states is said to be on the decline, but it's still big business. In some places, such as Lumpking County in Georgia, moonshining is a way of life, and when things are tough it is often claimed to be the only way to make a living. Last year Treasury agents seized more than 3,000 stills and destroyed 80,000 gallons of whiskey.
When they raided this still in Henry County, Georgia, the agents arrested one man. He faces a five year prison term and fine of 5,000 dollars. And in addition he will have to pay 10 and a half dollars tax on every gallon of whiskey produced by the still. The agents smashed the still - then blew it up.
The United states government has always contended that moonshine was not safe to be drunk. Samples of confiscated moonshine are tested by analysts. Each year there are documented cases of moonshine causing lead poisoning. Recently, when the level of mercury in some food and drink in the US began causing alarm, the government tested moonshine for mercury - and found it. It was present in samples taken from the Henry County still.