Thu, Mar 28, 2013 - Page 3 News List

French water bottles to be tested after pesticide scare

Staff writer, with CNA

Local importers of French bottled water brands Volvic and Vittel sent their products for testing yesterday after reports surfaced in France that the brands’ water had been discovered to contain traces of pesticides.

Lin Wei-chuan (林偉權), a manager at Kuang Chuan Dairy Co, which imports 360,000 to 400,000 liters of Volvic a year, said its tests results are expected tomorrow.

If the products are confirmed to be tainted, they will all be returned to their manufacturer, even if only a small amount of pesticides are found, Lin said.

Some retailers have already pulled the product off their shelves pending the test results, Lin said.

Volvic water is sold at most major department stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores across the nation.

Hsu Chuan-chuan (許娟娟), a spokeswoman for Tait Marketing & Distribution Co, which imports 17,800 liters of Vittel bottled water a year, said test results on its products will be released today.

The company respects whatever decision its retailers take on whether to pull Vittel from their shelves, Hsu said.

Foreign reports say tjat a recent investigation by French consumer magazine 60 Millions de Consommateurs discovered that 10 brands of bottled water sold in France contained residues of pesticides or prescription drugs.

Of these, Volvic and Vittel were found to contain pesticides banned in 2001, the reports said.

However, the magazine stressed that the level of contamination was negligible and that the brands of bottled water it tested were still safe to drink.

Tsai Shu-chen (蔡淑貞), a section chief with the Food and Drug Administration, said it has contacted the French Institute in Taipei for further information.

The government requested that importers release a general report on their bottled water within three days and a detailed report within seven days, Tsai said.

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