Nation’s Leading Bottled Water Company Calls on All Bottlers
To Make Transparency a Priority
Greenwich, Conn. (July 10, 2009) – Nestlé Waters North America leads the bottled water industry in testing and reporting on the quality of its products, and supports mandatory disclosure by all bottled water manufacturers of water sources and test results concerning water quality.
- Water Source Identification: Nestlé Waters North America identifies water sources on its bottle labels and/or online.
- Quality Reports: Since 2005, Nestlé Waters North America has made quality reports publicly available for all of its brands. These reports are comparable to those published by public water utilities and are based on independent testing results from certified laboratories.
- Easy Consumer Access to Information: Consumers can access information about Nestlé Waters North America’s water sources and quality reports via phone number or Web site, both of which are listed on product labels.
- Bottle Quality: The plastic used for Nestlé Waters North America bottled water packaging has been tested and approved for use by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and other countries, and does not contain the Di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP; also known as Bis 2-ethylhexyl phthalate).
“People have a right to understand the quality of both bottled and tap water. It is for this reason that we remain committed to making quality reports and source information easy for the public to access,” said Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America. “We urge all companies in the bottled water industry to do the same so consumers can see for themselves bottled water is a beverage choice of high and consistent quality.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of bottled water, which, like other food products such as infant formula and seafood, must be processed, packaged, shipped and stored in a safe and sanitary manner, and be truthfully and accurately labeled. Bottled water is one of the most regulated food products, with FDA protocols specific to bottled water processing and labeling.
“In general, FDA’s oversight of bottled water can be described as successful. The Agency is aware of no major outbreaks of illness or serious safety concerns associated with bottled water over the past decade,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, FDA, at the July 8, 2009 Congressional hearing on the regulation of bottled water.
There has been no conclusive evidence that bottled water has caused illnesses in the past five years, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s survey of 50 States and District of Columbia. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year there are anywhere from 4 million to 33 million cases of gastrointestinal illness associated with public drinking water systems.
“Federal law requires FDA to set similar standards for bottled water as exist for municipal water, or explain why they should not apply,” Dr. Sharfstein stated. In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, FDA regulations for bottled water are at least as stringent as those imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for municipal drinking water. (Hear the former FDA director of food safety and applied nutrition discuss bottled water regulations at the Yale University Drinking Water Symposium.)
“FDA has established standards for more than 90 contaminants. And in some cases, such as for lead or copper, FDA limits are stricter for bottled water than for municipal water,” Dr. Sharfstein continued.
Nestlé Waters’ bottled waters come from carefully selected sources, use state-of-the-art filtration and quality control processes, and are bottled in hygienically-sealed containers. Nestlé Waters North America tests approximately 2,000 samples a day of its bottled water. Gallon for gallon, Nestlé Waters North America tests its water nearly 68 times more frequently than most municipal water suppliers.
Nestlé Waters’ bottling plants undergo independent annual inspection. These facilities are also subject to both state and federal regulations.
At present, members of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), the bottled water industry trade group, are encouraged to release information about the contents of their water. People can go to the IBWA Web site to obtain contact information or water quality information for all IBWA member brands. IBWA has petitioned the FDA to require all bottled water labels to include a telephone number that will allow consumers to contact manufacturers for information not already on the labels.
About Nestlé Waters North America
Central to the leadership of Nestlé Waters North America Inc. is its 33-year history and single-focus on producing bottled water products. The company’s dedication to product quality, manufacturing expertise, employee development and environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of water use, energy and packaging, has helped Nestlé Waters become the number one bottled water company in the U.S. To reach success, the company follows its credo: Respect for each other, respect for the environment, and respect for the community. To learn more, visit http://www.Nestle-WatersNA.com.