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Complainant Name:
Ms Kinvara Carey

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Oxford Mail


This complaint was originally made to the PCC. As the PCC closed on 8 September the complaint was resolved by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) under PCC procedures. IPSO is the new independent regulator of the newspaper and magazine industry.

Ms Kinvara Carey complained to the Press Complaints Commission, on behalf of the National Hydration Council, that the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice in an article discussing the merits of tap and bottled waters. She said that the article had contained a number of inaccuracies about the safety and sourcing of bottled water products.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification:

"THE Natural Hydration Council, an organisation that represents bottled water producers, has been in contact about scientist Renee Watson's opinion column on bottled water on 11 July.

Renee raised an issue about health fears over the chemical composition of plastic bottles. The NHC has asked us to clarify that the plastic used to package bottled water in this country is made of PET which does not contain BPA or plasticisers, and therefore no phthalates that could pose a risk to health.

The NHC also noted that Renee wrote that bottled water was less tightly regulated than tap water so you are more likely to find E coli in the former. The NHC says that bottled and tap water industries are regulated differently, due to the differing processes. As tap water is chemically treated, by law it requires additional tests. In reality though, it states, bottled water producers test just as much, if not more.

Renee also commented that tap water can sometimes be found in bottled water products. The NHC said that approximately 90 per cent of bottled water on sale was spring or mineral water, and therefore up to 10 per cent may be from municipal sources."

Date Published: 09/10/2014

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