22 firms found marketing unauthorised 'herbal' drinking water

PTI Posted online: Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Madurai : Government has issued notice to 22 firms which sold what they claimed herbal drinking water without proper license in an alleged bid to avoid the ongoing crackdown on unauthorised packaged drinking water units as directed by the National Green Tribunal.

The notices seeking to know why action should not be taken against them were issued recently by the Food Safety and Standards Department as it found that the units were using different nomenclatures to sell water without necessary permission.

According to Food Safety Officer here Dr Suguna, the department officials were inspecting the quality of water sold in cans and bottles under various brands following directive of the Green Tribunal which has initiated suo motu proceedings taking into account media reports about poor quality of water supplied by several packaged drinking water units.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has recently told the tribunal that as many 814 units out of 967 in the state did not have its approval for functioning.

Also though the government had made it compulsory that the bottles used for packing water should get ISI certification, the same was not being followed by many companies.

Of late, in order to slip out of the noose being tightened around them, the drinking water firms were using a different nomenclature to sell their product-viz herbal drinking water.

The units claimed they were adding 'nannari', 'athimathuram' and some other herbs saying these were good for health.

Though the herbal drinking water did not require quality seal, like ISI seal, they were being monitored under Food Safety and Standard Act.

Companies marketing herbal drinking water should obtain proper permission from the Food Safety and Standards Department for production and obtain certificate for marketing them. But the 22 firms were found lacking these and hence show cause notice had been issued to them to reply within 15 days.