The investigation showed that the Mexican Peñafiel and Jermuk, from Armenia, can be easily purchased at retail stores in two US states and at Amazon, although they are on a federal import alert because they have arsenic levels, a heavy metal that can cause illness, above the federal limit of 10 parts per billion or more.
The Keurig Dr Pepper company announced that it will stop producing its Peñafiel brand after the US Consumer Reports (CR) organization detected unsafe levels of arsenic in its bottled water.
The organization reported that it identified 11 brands, out of a total of more than 130 investigated, that had high amounts of arsenic (3 parts per billion or more), these were Starkey (Whole Foods); Peñafiel (by Keurig Dr Pepper); Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water; Volvic (by Danone) and two regional brands: Crystal Creamery and EartH₂O.
The investigation showed that the Mexican Peñafiel and Jermuk, of Armenia, could be bought easily in retail stores in two states and in Amazon, despite being on a federal import alert for having arsenic levels above the federal limit of 10. ppb.
According to CR, the alert was issued to “prevent the distribution of potentially infringing products in the United States,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards.
In March, Keurig Dr Pepper confirmed to CR that until 2018 Peñafiel’s water had undetectable amounts of arsenic, however this week it said it had detected levels above the federal limit, at an average of 17 ppb.
“Keurig Dr Pepper said Monday that he had suspended the production of bottled water for two weeks at his plant in Mexico that has Peñafiel exported to the United States,” the report said.
According to CR, the company will seek to reduce leaks in the plant and thereby arsenic levels. The justification for the company was that in its last internal tests they used a different protocol.
Photo: Consumer Reports.
Keurig Dr Pepper confirmed that Peñafiel’s withdrawal is not planned, but CR thought that it should be issued.
“An arsenic level of 17 ppb is a clear violation of the federal standard for bottled water of 10 ppb,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at CR, who also invited the brand to remember rape levels and called to the FDA to take action in case of removing the brand.
CR confirmed that an FDA spokesperson “said that the agency takes the issue of heavy metals seriously and that if a product on the market is considered adulterated it will take the appropriate action.”
According to the research, arsenic is a heavy metal that can cause diseases and affect child development. A glass of water with arsenic probably would not cause harm, according to James Dickerson, Ph.D., CR’s scientific director; but regular consumption, in prolonged periods, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, it can cause certain types of cancer and other health problems, he says.
The study indicated that companies can use certain treatment processes to eliminate it from water, as they promote their product as a “pure and healthy” alternative to the soft drink market.
“It does not make sense for consumers to buy bottled water that is less safe than tap water,” Dickerson said.
In 2006, the FDA set the maximum arsenic in drinking water at 10 ppb, in line with the Environmental Protection Agency, however, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stated that water with arsenic above 5 ppb does not it should be used to “drink, cook, mix formula milk for babies or other forms of consumption”.
Source: sinembago, forbes
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