The Mafia started hijacking ethyl alcohol shipments for bootlegging.
The government decided to poison the alcohol (which would not ruin it for the purpose it was intended) so that people couldn't drink it.
Of course what happened instead is that the Mafia continued to steal/sell it and as a result thousands of people guilty of only buying illegal booze and nothing else, were killed.
Ask 1000 people on the street is that is true or false and I'll bet you get 999 "false" answers. People are kept ignorant by the government for a reason.