Drinking bottled water thinking you're safe from microbes found in tap water? What if the bottled water that you drank isn't any cleaner than ground water? Nestlé is embroiled in a lawsuit and facing accusations that its popular Poland Spring brand is selling ground water, not mineral water as the company claims.
The class action lawsuit was filed by 11 people who are seeking millions of dollars in damages. Incidentally, Nestlé recently announced plans for a vast expansion of Poland Springs operations in Maine, a move that was met with similar accusations of questionable practices that could be putting public health at risk.
Nestlé, the company notorious across North America for questionable business ethics, has come under fire yet again over bottled water — this time, as the subject of a class action lawsuit stating the mineral water its Poland Spring brand claims on the packaging is, in fact, just groundwater.
Filed in a federal court in Connecticut on Tuesday, Bangor Daily News reports the lawsuit accuses Nestlé Waters North America Inc. of “colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers.” The outlet continues,
“The civil suit was brought by 11 people from the Northeast who collectively spent thousands of dollars on Poland Spring brand water in recent years. It is seeking millions of dollars in damages for a nationwide class and appears to hinge on whether the sources of Poland Spring water meet the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of a spring.”
Poland “spring” water. That definition, while seemingly simple from a consumer’s perspective, meticulously describes what qualifies water sources to be sold, for example, as officially “spring water,” among other common terms.
Incidentally, this isn’t Nestlé’s premier as the target of a lawsuit claiming the company broadly duped consumers through mislabeling groundwater as somehow ‘purer’ or more ‘healthful’ — former United States Forest Service officials blew the whistle on operations inside the San Bernardino National Forest under its Arrowhead brand. Under a permit long expired in 1988 — and for just $524 in annual fees — Nestlé draws millions of gallons for billions in profit under the pretense Arrowhead Spring water is drawn from a spring. Two whistleblowers contend that, since the infrastructure pipes water from inside a mountain — rather than from the emergent water, as the FDA proscribes — Nestlé has grossly deceived the public into purchasing groundwater.
That Nestlé stands accused of similar indiscretion in Maine — a state the company has aggressively campaigned for a vast expansion of Poland Spring operations — thus, hardly seems shocking; except, perhaps, for a rather nauseating aspect of this lawsuit.
Image courtesy of: Hal Dick