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Abbot says Buckfast not made to be abused

THE Abbot of Buckfast Abbey has hit out after its tonic wine was blamed for causing crime in Scotland.

Abbot David Charlesworth said Buckfast Tonic Wine "is not made to be abused".

He said: "We don't make a product for it to be abused. That's not the idea. We make a product that is a tonic wine. It annoys me to think that these problems, all the social deprivation of an area of Scotland, is being put on our doorstep.

"That's not fair. I'm not producing drugs which I know are going to be used abusively."

Police in the former Strathcylde area linked the tonic wine to nearly 6500 crime reports in the last three years.

But Abbot Charlesworth said: "I don't want Buckfast Abbey to be associated with broken bottles and drunks.

"But is the product bad? No. I've heard people say we should ban Buckfast. If you ban Buckfast, ban Scottish whisky. It's alcohol, much stronger. But oh no they wouldn't do that. So they are picking on a particular thing as a conscience salver."

The monastery in Devon, which has been brewing Buckfast for nearly 100 years, opened a new production plant two years ago.

It first started producing Buckfast in the 1920s, selling it directly to the public with the message: "Three small glasses a day for good health and lively blood".

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Food and drink

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