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Hépar, Perrier, Vittel… These brands of mineral water are highly contaminated, according to a report

Hépar, Perrier, Vittel… These brands of mineral water are highly contaminated, according to a report

Cairo: Zizi Abdel Ghaffar


New scandal for the Nestlé group. Many bottles of mineral water are contaminated with bacteria, pesticides and Pfas.

Did you think bottled water was healthier than tap water? Unfortunately, this is far from being the case… Indeed, it can contain thousands of plastic particles, but also be contaminated by other elements. As reported FranceInfoan expertise carried out on behalf of the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) by the Nancy hydrology laboratory highlighted the health quality of several bottles of mineral water produced by Nestlé.

Mineral waters purified illegally by Nestlé

In January 2024, Nestlé was already in the crosshairs of health agencies. Indeed, the newspaper Les Echos revealed that, “ for years, Nestlé had broken regulations to keep its waters safe”in an article titled “Perrier, Vittel, Contrex: Nestlé makes its mea culpa”. As a reminder, the Swiss giant has two natural mineral water packaging sites in France: one in the Vosges (Vittel, Contrex, Hépar) and one in the Gard, in Vergèze (Perrier).

At the end of August 2021, the multinational admitted, as part of a meeting with the office of the Minister of Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, to using non-compliant treatments. These treatments would, according to the company, allow them to operate their mineral water factories, because the sources are regularly contaminated.

Following this meeting, the general inspection of social affairs (Igas) was tasked with “assess the use of treatments not authorized by manufacturers”. At the same time, 32 inspections were carried out, including in the Nestlé group’s factories. The results of this report were particularly damning. “The work revealed that nearly 30% of commercial designations undergo non-compliant processing”we could read there.

photo credit: Shutterstock

Regarding Nestlé, 100% of its brands are affected, with “serious deviations” to the regulations. “On the one hand, non-compliant treatments are used in all of the group’s factories: microfiltration below 0.8 microns, but also activated carbon and ultraviolet, the ban on which is absolute, leaving no room for interpretation. But above all and on the other hand, the sampling points used to qualify the raw resource (water at the source) were deliberately positioned after these unauthorized treatments”detailed this report.

Several bottles of mineral water produced by Nestlé contaminated

As revealed FranceInfo And The world On Thursday April 4, 2024, Nestlé mineral waters were contaminated with bacteria, pesticides and PFAS. ANSES experts then noted the presence, in “sometimes high” concentrations, of bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) or intestinal enterococci. We very often talk about the E. Coli bacteria, which can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, but also vomiting and fever, as the Pasteur Institute points out on its site. This bacteria can be very dangerous and cause “severe form called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)”which can be fatal.

Experts deplored “insufficient level of confidence”to ensure “sanitary quality” of these natural bottled mineral waters. ANSES then recommended to the Ministry of Health a “reinforced surveillance plan”.

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