German Brewers Association rejects report about microplastics in beer

Independent examinations confirm the high quality of German beers


Berlin, the 3rd of June 2014. The NDR-television station in its programme “Markt” broadcast on the 2nd of June 2014 put up the assertion that besides mineral water also beers were reportedly affected by contamination through so-called “microplastics”. The German Brewers Association rejects the accusations and speculations of the NDR as unfounded and notes the following:

In extensive examinations carried out by renowned, independent institutes e.g. the Technical University Munich, during the past few days on request of the breweries, no microplastic fibres could be found in beers tested by the NDR. All beers were of impeccable quality. Beers are natural products subjected to strictest quality criteria, which are produced by application of highest hygienic standards exclusively from carefully selected, strictly controlled, natural raw materials.

The German Brewers Association  categorically rejects the wrongful allegations and assumptions made by the NDR-television and reserves the right to take legal action. The reliability of the examination quoted by the NDR, for which, according to scientists, absolute clean-room conditions would be required, in order to avoid foreign contamination, must for several reasons vehemently be put into question. Despite of our inquiries the TV-station has not yet reacted to our request, to reveal the exact examination method and the examination results.

The assertions made by the TV-broadcaster and the chemist Prof. Liebezeit are obviously not based on a serious, scientific examination. It has neither unequivocally been excluded that foreign particles penetrated into the drinks and the devices provided for the examination and this way could contaminate the analyzed materials, nor is it a known fact that an analysis for identification of individual fibres took place. Mr. Liebezeit, quoted by the NDR-television admitted towards us that the examination method applied by him was “very simple”.

In independent scientists’ opinions smallest particles, as for example, so-called “microplastics” can, however, only be identified without doubt in very time and cost-intensive examinations under strict clean-room conditions. Prof. Dr. Horst Christian Langowski from the Technical University Munich, chair for food packaging technology, in a statement made on the 26th of May as regards the NDR-investigation said: “To support the findings that the fibres found are “microplastics”, a precise analysis of the individual fibres would have to be made, with being excluded that the fibres were brought in by examination personnel or the preparation method applied. (…) The published result must therefore critically be investigated, whether they are based on examinations fulfilling the above mentioned requirements. If this is not the case, the findings published in the report are not trustworthy.” (Please see document below)

Press contact:

Marc-Oliver Huhnholz
Press spokesman
German Brewers Association / Die deutschen Brauer
Tel.: 030/209167-16
E-Mail: huhnholz(at)

Follow us on Twitter: Deutscher BrauerBund @germanbrewers



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German Brewers Association rejects report about microplastics in beer (PDF, 135 KB)
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140526 Statement Professor Langowski TU Munich - Fibres and similar structures in beer - German and English (PDF, 115 KB)

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