Poland Spring Bottled Water Lawsuit Target
Poland Spring Bottled Water Lawsuit Target.
The Washington Post Print Poland Spring, the country’s best-selling bottled water, is “a colossal fraud,” according to a class-action lawsuit.
“Not one drop of Poland Spring Water emanates from a water source that complies with the Food and Drug Administration definition of ‘spring water,’ ” the lawsuit states.
A spokeswoman for Nestle Waters North America said its water meets all federal and state guidelines for spring water.
“The claims made in the lawsuit are without merit and an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain.” The lawsuit, which comes as Nestle expands its operations in Maine, is the latest in a string of legal actions against bottled water companies.
In 2003, Nestle agreed to pay $10 million to charity to settle a similar class-action lawsuit that alleged it falsely advertised Poland Spring water.
But the company maintained that it had not been deceptive in its practices, and it did not change the way it sources its water.
“Most of Nestle’s waters are pumped from the ground, but the bigger issue that the regulatory definition of what really counts as spring water is really weak,” said Peter Gleick, a scientist and president emeritus of the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit policy research center in Oakland, Calif. “No one is really looking over the shoulders of the bottled water companies.” Bottled water sales have soared to record highs in recent years as Americans cut back on sugary drinks.
Annual sales of bottled water grew 10 percent last year to $16 billion, surpassing sales of carbonated sodas for the first time, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, a New York-based research and consulting firm.
Nestle has expanded its water business.The company, which recently moved its U.S. headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, oversees a dozen brands of still and sparkling water, including Deer Park, Acqua Panna, Perrier and San Pelligrino.