Skip

Nestle sued over bad water
June 19, 2003 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Nestle, the makers of Poland Spring water are being sued for selling their bottled water as "naturally purified" or "spring water" when in fact it does not meet the scientific criteria for spring water, is worse than some area tap water, and is sourced near "asphalt parking lots or other areas of dangerous contamination".
posted by omidius (34 comments total)

 


(Come to think of it, why not sell the African mothers some Poland Spring with which to mix their formula?)
posted by stonerose at 1:51 PM on June 19, 2003


Thanks for adding that stonerose, I would just like to add that in some South American countries their sales campaign was so successful that many women believed that other Nestle products were nutritious substitutes, they began feeding their babies Quick mixed with water, essentially starving their children into developmental retardation or worse. Thanks Nestle!

Incidentally, many Latin American mothers still find breast milk suspicious despite counter-campaigns by organizations like the UN and the Peace Corps!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:54 PM on June 19, 2003


yes, well, i call dork on anyone who buys dasani too. $20 a gallon for tap water. there's an american consumerbot sucker born every minute.
posted by quonsar at 2:08 PM on June 19, 2003


quonsar:

$20 a gallon for tap water. there's an american consumerbot sucker born every minute.

I say that a culture dumb enough to buy 'fitness water' will swallow just about any kind of marketing b.s. in bold defiance of common sense.
posted by mark13 at 2:27 PM on June 19, 2003


when in fact it does not meet the scientific criteria for spring water, is worse than some area tap water, and is sourced near "asphalt parking lots or other areas of dangerous contamination".

You forgot "...according to the lawsuit." In the interest of hearing another side of the story, here's Nestle's take on the issue.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:27 PM on June 19, 2003


I worked in Poland, Maine at a summer camp for a number of years. The water that comes straight out of that aquifer tastes wonderful. That said, I always wondered if it was as good as it appears.

There's a lot of agriculture in the area accompanied by pesticide use and lots of decaying gas pumps. That, and Maine required that MBTE be added to gasoline for a few years. The granite bedrock
that makes the water appear so pure also makes radon a problem for wells.

Those "deep in the woods of Maine" ads always amused me. Poland's rural in the "let's pound a few Busch Lites and go snowmobilin'!" sense, but there's plenty of traffic and lots of people near Poland Spring's collection sites.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:29 PM on June 19, 2003


Okay, I've heard the bit about $20 a gallon water a hundred times before. But heck, I buy it sometimes. On a road trip, for instance, I'd rather drink a bottle of water from a gas station than soda. And I love plain fizzy water!
posted by jeff-o-matic at 2:35 PM on June 19, 2003




"We will certainly defend our good name against these false charges."

Here is some more information on Nestle's "good name"
posted by the fire you left me at 2:43 PM on June 19, 2003


a culture dumb enough to buy 'fitness water'

last weekend at a festival in Cambridge, lackeys were handing out -- nay, insistently pressing upon each and every man, woman and child who walked by -- bottles of Propel. it being warm and sunny (for the allotted five minutes that day this year in Boston), i drank it. it had a weak lemon flavor, but it was refreshing enough. until about an hour later, i started to feel headachy and out-of-it. lo and behold, the stuff is loaded (for "water") with sucrose! there were 60+ calories in the bottle i drank...hardly a Twinkie, but enough to make a difference to someone with insulin resistance -- thanks, Propel!
posted by serafinapekkala at 2:43 PM on June 19, 2003


I suppose buying beverages like Coke/Pepsi makes so much more sense
posted by batboy at 2:45 PM on June 19, 2003


Interesting. Of course, Poland Spring water is our tap water (the aquifer my mother's well draws from is the same as the one the bottling plant draws from), so perhaps my view is skewed somewhat.

our suit will show that Poland Spring is neither natural nor spring water

I'm dying to know how they're going to prove this. I mean, sure, they're not bottling straight out of the bubbling spring in the Ricker's Spring House any longer (they dug wells to increase yield), but if the definition of "natural spring water" is not "water that comes out of the ground" I'll be wicked surprised to find out what spring water is. Their big gripe seems to be that Poland Spring has driven wells directly into the aquifer, rather than waiting for the water to rise up out of the ground.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Nestle, but I have to say that this sounds for all the world like a suit filed by folks who are, perhaps, slightly embarrassed to find out that they've been paying $2.50 for 24 ounces of my tap water. Poland Spring has never pretended to be anything it isn't - its water, from Poland Maine, that comes out of the ground. It tastes nifty (my mother has always thought it was, in fact, the radon seeping in from the granite that gave our water its distinctive taste, but I somehow doubt that), and I'm sure its purer than the tap water of 80% of the towns out there.

If anyone is interested, check out 150+ years of history of Poland Spring Water.
posted by anastasiav at 2:54 PM on June 19, 2003


I just have a general gripe about the "Nutrition Facts" labels that appear on US food products, where you get a list of impressing sound percentages, whereas for a lot of foods the only truthful statement that should appear here would be "none." Or perhaps "Malnutrition Facts" would be more appropriate (this product will make you cranky, obese, give you diabetes, etc.). Grumble grumble.
posted by carter at 3:00 PM on June 19, 2003


Only suckers drink bottled water? Not so. In and around NY, the water is great. But go to Florida, close to sea level, and all you can drink is that which has been purified. Once I asked a baker friend why pizza was so terrible in Florida when dough is dough and toppings are toppings etc. His answer: the water used spoils the flavor.

I don't drink bottled water when in and around my home state but I would not drink Mexican water unless I knew it has been purified (it is in some tourist areas).
posted by Postroad at 3:33 PM on June 19, 2003


...but if the definition of "natural spring water" is not "water that comes out of the ground" I'll be wicked surprised to find out what spring water is. Their big gripe seems to be that Poland Spring has driven wells directly into the aquifer, rather than waiting for the water to rise up out of the ground.

Well, the OED gives as it's second definition for the "spring" in question:

A flow of water rising or issuing naturally out of the earth; a similar flow obtained by boring or other artificial means.

So Nestle would seem to be safe on the "spring" count. The question is, which word does "natural" modify: "spring", or "water"? If it's (natural spring) water, then Nestle is being dishonest, since their springs aren't natural (they were obtained by boring or other artificial means). However, if what Nestle meant to say was "natural water from a spring", then they're being perfectly honest, since I doubt they could be selling artificial water.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:37 PM on June 19, 2003


Spring water is so last year! What you need is some "fresh-squeezed cloud juice" from Tank Town in Dripping Springs, Texas!

I pretty much roll my eyes at anyone who buys bottled waters unless they are in some way dramatically different from regular tap water (purity not included). Some years ago we bought a nice filtration system for our kitchen tap, which I use to fill soda bottles for days on the go. People have accused it of tasting like Aquafina. Perhaps I should start bottling it and make some money! :D
posted by Orb at 3:50 PM on June 19, 2003


look on the bright side -- at least they got the chemical formula correct.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:01 PM on June 19, 2003


As kids we used the hose, mostly not our own, wonder what was added to those gulps by things living in it?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:02 PM on June 19, 2003


Nestle was mentioned not too long ago here.
posted by entropy at 4:05 PM on June 19, 2003


I wouldn't drink anything called "Moland".
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2003


This is interesting to me, because I have thought several times since I came east how much better Poland Spring's bottled water tasted than the western brands (haven't seen many other brands here...the market seems much more homogenous here than in Vegas or Arizona).

Where can I taste radon to see if that is, in fact, the flavor I'm enjoying?
posted by rushmc at 4:25 PM on June 19, 2003


I'm with rush. Poland Springs has always been the best tasting water to me. That's why I buy bottled water, in fact. Everyone claims NYC tap water is the best, but I think it tastes nasty.

Still, boo on Nestle, just because.
posted by divrsional at 4:40 PM on June 19, 2003


eddydamascene: look on the bright side -- at least they got the chemical formula correct.

I don't like this at all. It's probably really H3O+ -- hydronium ions. Drinking too much of it will suck out all your electrons and you will stick to the ceiling.
posted by kurumi at 5:37 PM on June 19, 2003


I wouldn't drink anything called "Moland".

But these false accusations will not deter us. We WILL annex Poland by the Spring, at any cost! AND... our stock will rise HIGH!
posted by gyc at 5:48 PM on June 19, 2003


I buy bottled water, by the case at the warehouse store. Runs about 7 bucks for 24 24oz bottles. It's great for grabbing and heading to the gym.

I won't drink anything now without checking the label, for the exact reason Propel doesn't touch my lips. Everything is loaded with refined sugar. The government health specialists recommend 40g of sugar per day, but one can of Coca Cola has 39g of sugar. And you can be someone, somewhere is drinking 5-6 cans per day. (I know, I used to.)

Look at Dasani. It isn't spring water, it is refined water using an "advanced technique known as reverse osmosis". When the hell did reverse osmosis become so damn advanced?

The stuff I buy is typically Ice Mountain. It has a good taste, no after taste, and its the same thing that work has in the water cooler.

Now, I won't drink anything but water, and I mean water because of the harmful chemicals and the sugar in sodas and such. Even these sport drinks are bad for you, loaded down with refined sugar. I'm lucky to live in a city with a really good water treatment plant, and good tap water. But I buy bottles for convenience, honestly, and I tend to refill them for several days.

If I am out, and thirsty, bottled water is great in a pinch. Better than soda, and quenches your thirst.
posted by benjh at 6:36 PM on June 19, 2003


I should also note Nestle Waters manufactures Ice Mountain, as well as several other brands. Not sure as to the quality, but it seems good.
posted by benjh at 6:39 PM on June 19, 2003


Don't confuse yer basic spring with an artesian spring.
posted by NortonDC at 8:25 PM on June 19, 2003


Some bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle.
.....
One problem is that bottled water is subject to less rigorous purity standards and less frequent tests for bacteria and chemical contaminants than those required of tap water. For example, bottled-water plants must test for coliform bacteria once a week; city tap water must be tested 100 or more times a month.
....
Bottled water does have one advantage over tap: you can take it with you wherever you go. So why not buy one bottle of each desirable size and refill it with your city's finest unnaturally filtered yet salubriously delicious tap water?

posted by MzB at 8:32 PM on June 19, 2003


Chalk me up as another ice mountain drinker. However, it's only for things where I need to be able to take it with me (and I buy it at the warehouse club, where it's much more reasonably priced). I stuff several in the golf bag for rounds (a frozen one is especially usefull for late in the round). Could I do it with tap water and my own bottles? Yeah, but it's just easier to buy the stuff. Color me lazy.

And dasani is sick. It's about the only bottled water I couldn't finish because it tasted so bad. My wife couldn't believe how bad it was either.
posted by piper28 at 9:51 PM on June 19, 2003


I like the water that comes out of elevated water tanks in which three attractive women with bouffant hairdos change their clothes. Lotsa curves, you bet/Even more when you get/To the junction. Petticoat Junction!
posted by luser at 6:00 AM on June 20, 2003


So why not buy one bottle of each desirable size and refill it with your city's finest unnaturally filtered yet salubriously delicious tap water?

Because the water that comes out of the tap tastes like ass.

I use a Brita sports bottle at home. Actually, the water at home tastes ok, except when it comes out a little rust stained. I just use the filter at home so I don't have to think about the rust stains.

I buy water to bring to work, though, because the tap water at work tastes like ass and leaves scary mineral deposits on my cup. Even the stuff from the water fountain has the funky taste. And since work charges an arm and a leg for bottled water, I bring my own - whatever's cheapest. I don't much care if it's someone else's tap water, as long as it's not this place's tap water.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:09 AM on June 20, 2003


For anyone living in (or visiting) central Indiana, you can get free artesian well water water at the Carmel Flowing Well (about the fifth entry down on the page). I think it's as good as any bottled water I've tried.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:26 AM on June 20, 2003


I would like to chime in on the whole New York tap water thing, everyone says it's great (which I think is a hangover from before there was such a thing as bottled water, as a child I don't remember the water being nasty), but today it tastes like a big gulp from a public swimming pool, super duper chlorinated and assy. As my friend says, "yeah the water's ok, but it keeps you thirsty."

I love to make fun of the consumer-troids, sheeple or whatever we superior types like to call the witless hoi-polloi. But I wonder how much bottled water purchasing is done based not on supposed issues of cleanliness or purity, but taste. As in subjective rather than objective.

For me I like bottled water because it doesn't leave an aftertaste, except Dasani because it looks and tastes like windex and Evian because it has the consistency of saliva.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:51 AM on June 20, 2003


« Older very scary   |   Islamic Medical Manuscripts Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post