Whole Foods pulled Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel's popular Skinnygirl margarita line from shelves because it contains a potentially toxic ingredient.
The supermarket chain said it pulled the drink because it contains the preservative sodium benzoate, which when mixed with other substances such as vitamin C could become carcinogenic, the New York Post reported.
The popular drink had been sold in in 16 of its 310 U.S. stores, but Whole Foods said in a statement, After discovering that it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it.
The drink is billed on Frankel's Web site as the margarita you can trust and as close to nature as possible, while still being a shelf-stable product.
Frankel, who sold the two-year old drink line this past spring to the maker of Kentucky bourbon Jim Beam for $120 million, disputed Whole Foods' decision.
With all due respect to Whole Foods, we were in a dozen of their stores and have decided not to continue in these stores, Frankel told Access Hollywood.
They represent an infinitesimal fraction of our business. We are, in fact, the fastest growing spirits brand in the US . . . We were bound to piss someone off, and everyone loves to try to tear down a success. This is a non-event.
Skinnygirl is the fastest growing spirit in the U.S. according to Web site Seeking Alpha. Although Beam Global doesn't break out sales figures for the drink, some estimates have said it tops 100,000 cases a year in sales.
Beam Global said in a statement that Whole Foods didn't pull the product from its shelves, but merely didn't place additional orders. The company said the drink has extremely low levels of sodium benzoate, adding, it's a very common preservative.