Some manufacturers of botteld water have agreed to change labels to remove the word organic.
Some manufacturers of botteld water have agreed to change labels to remove the word organic.

ACCC clamps down on dodgy bottled water claims

DODGY claims that bottled water is organic have attracted the attention of Australia's consumer protection commission.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed on Tuesday it had been negotiating with seven bottled water manufacturers over "organic" claims made on their bottles.

Each of the seven brands, and an eighth brand which withdrew the water from sale, who claimed their water was "organic" have now been renamed with new labelling on the way.

Among the brands caught out were Active Organic, Lithgow Valley Springs Organic, Nature's Best Organic, Organic Australia, Organic Falls and Organic Springs.

Commission deputy chair Delia Rickard said such "credence claims" were a priority for the commission, particularly in the food and beverage industries, where such references could influence buying choices.

"Credence claims such as 'organic' can be used to justify higher prices and create a competitive advantage for the user. As such, it is essential that they are only used correctly," she said.

But she said organic produce standards already acknowledged that "water cannot be organic", with such claims indicating a farmed or grown product that is produced in line with the standards.

The commission rejected claims by manufacturers that the word "organic" was simply a brand name, and not representative of the product.

"Manufacturers cannot hide misleading claims in their brand names," Ms Rickard said.

 

The following table lists the manufacturers and brands affected:

Manufacturer

Former Brand(s)

New Brand

Active Organic Beverages

Active Organic and Organic Nature's Best

Active Original

DJ&A

Organic Australia

Australian Mountain

Intertrading

Organic Falls

Aquatic Falls

Lithgow Valley Springs

Lithgow Valley Springs Organic

Lithgow Valley Springs

Mt Aqua Distribution

Aqua Organic

Not applicable as withdrawn from sale

Sternwin / First Water Springs

Organic Springs

Original Springs

Water Wine & Juice

Nature's Best Organic

Nature's Best

Dew South

Dew South and Latitude 40°

Not applicable as organic claims were on website

 

For further information visit www.accc.gov.au or call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502



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