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Country’s Largest Producer of Bottled Water Responds to Allegations

October 15, 2008

GREENWICH, Conn., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Below is a statement from Heidi Paul, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Nestle Waters North America (NWNA) in reaction to claims made in a report issued today by the Environmental Working Group:

“As the country’s largest producer of bottled water, Nestle Waters North America adheres to the most rigorous quality standards for all of our 15 brands of bottled water which range from Poland Spring to S. Pellegrino. Similar to the International Bottled Water Association, and other reputable water experts, we express our strong disagreement with the many erroneous claims made in today’s Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) report. Their allegations are false and misleading and seek to undermine the integrity of bottled water. As industry leader, it is our obligation to accurately describe the facts on the ground and in the marketplace.

Protecting and ensuring water quality is at the very heart of our business. It stems from our commitment to the tens of millions of people who regularly consume bottled water. At last count, 70% of all Americans drink bottled water at least once a week. We sell over 20 billion bottles of water a year to health conscious consumers who value the quality, safety and convenience that our products provide and we conduct over 25,000 quality control tests every day. While tap water is generally adequate and safe, from a quality and other perspectives, bottled water is better on every score. Water quality depends on three things: the quality of the source, the specialization of the treatment and the distribution system. Bottled water has the advantage in all 3 aspects.

We start from the ground up by testing our source water. Then, at least nine product quality checks are conducted every hour on each bottling line in every plant to measure the consistency of taste, mineral content, pH and other quality parameters. Our tests are conducted by third-party certified labs accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation program overseen by the EPA. This audit ensures that our company meets the most stringent guidelines for sanitation and process control.

Contrary to the EWG’s attempts to equate tap water quality with bottled water, our water is held to a higher standard. State governments inspect and certify the sources of spring water, meaning that samples have been analyzed and found to be of safe and sanitary quality. Unlike tap water, our bottled waters both list detailed mineral analysis and undergo multi-step filtration just before bottling, ensuring consistent taste and quality. Also, unlike tap water, water bottlers must comply with FDA, EPA and OSHA standards. Not only would a bottler have to immediately correct a problem if one exists, it would also have to recall the product if there was a health violation. That’s federal law.

Although no product is always perfect, the rigorous process above is crucial in helping to ensure that quality standards are upheld. We are a proud supplier to Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, and we quickly determined that none of the water in question has been supplied by Nestle Waters North America or any of our brands.”

Nestle Waters North America

CONTACT: Keith Carroll, Burson-Marsteller, +1-212-614-4975, or+1-917-386-4306, Keith.carroll@bm.com, for Nestle Waters




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