Nestle Peddling Tap Water as Spring-Sourced, Suit Says

By Gavin Broady, Portfolio Media, Inc.

Law360, New York (October 11, 2012, 1:36 PM ET) –Nestle Waters North America, Inc., has been selling bottles of municipal tap water and falsely marketing it to consumers as 100 percent natural, spring-sourced water, according to a putative class action removed to Illinois federal court Wednesday.Plaintiff Chicago Faucet Shoppe Inc. claims that Nestle — which removed the suit to federal court — has falsely represented to consumers that 5-gallon bottles of Ice Mountain water are sourced from springs and contain only naturally occurring minerals, when in fact the bottles are filled with water not from natural springs but from municipal water systems, according to the complaint.“The Ice Mountain 5-gallon bottles would have cost less and would have been less marketable if there had been a disclosure that the 5-gallon bottles do not contain 100 percent natural spring water but instead contain resold municipal tap water,” the complaint said. “Nestle Waters’ failure to disclose this critical fact caused consumers to purchase 5-gallon jugs that they wouldn’t have otherwise purchased if that fact was known.”Chicago Faucet is suing on behalf of all persons in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri who purchased the 5-gallon Ice Mountain bottles, claiming unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices under the Illinois Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and seeking actual and punitive damages, an injunction mandating disclosure and restitution.Chicago Faucet claims that it began purchasing the 5-gallon jugs — which are sold only over the Internet or by phone, typically to offices or homes — for its Chicago office in 2008.At an unspecified date thereafter, a Chicago Faucet employee called Nestle to order home delivery of the water and, after talking to several Nestle employees, was informed that the water was not 100 percent spring-sourced, according to the complaint.Chicago Faucet says Nestle charges a premium for such spring-sourced water and that while bottles of water not advertised as spring-sourced — which are typically presumed to be tap water — have remained stagnant, sales of bottled water from spring sources have grown substantially.

Nestle has marketed the alleged benefits of spring water — including enhanced taste, quality and mineral composition — and has claimed that the springs themselves each have unique “taste fingerprints” in an unscrupulous and unethical manner intended to create demand for the product, according to the complaint.

Nestle Waters is the leading bottled water company in the U.S., with estimated 2010 sales exceeding $4 billion, according to the complaint.

This is not the first time Nestle has been hit with allegations over the sourcing of its bottled water. In 2003, a pair of consumers sued the company in a Connecticut class action over claims that its Poland Spring brand bottled water was falsely marketed as sourced from spring water deep in the woods of Maine when it consisted of tap water. That suit was reportedly settled later that year for a $10 million payout in the form of discounts to consumers and charitable contributions.

Representatives for the parties were not immediately for comment Thursday.

Chicago Faucet is represented by the Law Offices of Michael J. Newman and Cohen & Malad LLP.

Nestle is represented by Jeffrey M. Garrod of Orloff Lowenbach Stifelman & Siegel PA and Sarah Wolff and David Smith of Reed Smith LLP.

The case is The Chicago Faucet Shoppe Inc. v. Nestle Waters North America Inc, case number  1:12-cv-08119, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

–Editing by Lindsay Naylor.

All Content © 2003-2012, Portfolio Media, Inc.

Fryeburg / Nestlé Action Alert #2: We got an extension, now demand a public hearing!

FRYEBURG/NESTLÉ ACTION ALERT #2:

WE GOT AN EXTENSION!  NOW DEMAND A PUBLIC HEARING!!

Yes, the good news is that the PUC has extended the comment period to Sept.
24th.

Thanks to everyone who took action to let the PUC know that the public has a
right to more time to submit comments on the deal between Fryeburg Water
Company and Nestlé/Poland Spring.

We are pleased that the Public Advocate’s office called for an extension and
give a special shout out to Nisha Swinton with Food and Water Watch who
formally petitioned the PUC for an extension.

Now we have to demand a public hearing to force open the door and let the
light shine on the backroom deal that the Fryeburg Water Company has struck
with Nestlé/Poland Spring.  We know that a public hearing is not a part of the
formal record used to decide the case, but neither are decisions made in a
vacuum.  The PUC Commissioners need to know that there is widespread objection
to this deal.

All three Commissioners have been far too cozy with Nestlé. In our first
alert, we called out PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner David Littell
who both previously worked at Pierce, Atwood which has a long history of
representing Nestlé. We should have also mentioned that the third
commissioner, Mark Vannoy, worked as an Associate Vice President in the
infrastructure and civil practice group at Wright Pierce where he had close
associations with Nestlé.

Nestlé has no right to the water for the next 45 years. Fryeburg Water Company
has no right to guaranteed profits from selling the spring water to Nestlé.

As a nun once said to a VP of NWNA when we were invited inside after
protesting outside,  “Nestlé Water North America….who says the water belongs
to you?  It belongs to God.”  Some might say the water belongs to all life.

Water is a fundamental right for people and nature.  Nestlé’s profit should
not come before this fundamental right.

ACT TODAY:

Call PUC Attorney Matthew Kaply (207) 287-1368 who is in charge of this case.
Thank him for the extension and insist on a public hearing.

You can also call or e-mail Karen Geraghty, PUC Administrative Director to
whom formal requests are made.  Again, thank her for the extension and insist
on a public hearing.
Tel: 207-287-3831      e-mail:   karen.geraghty@maine.gov

As before, you can sign in as a registered public user on the PUC website and
post specific comments which will go to the staff and Commissioners.
http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/online/index.shtml   Put in Case No. 2008-00052

The pdf of the filed agreement is at
https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/MatterManagement/MatterFilingItem.aspx?FilingSeq=72309&CaseNumber=2008-00052

Thanks for all you do!
Ruth and Chris

Fryeburg / Nestlé Action Alert #2: We got an extension, now demand a public hearing!

FRYEBURG/NESTLÉ ACTION ALERT #2:

WE GOT AN EXTENSION!  NOW DEMAND A PUBLIC HEARING!!

Yes, the good news is that the PUC has extended the comment period to Sept.
24th.

Thanks to everyone who took action to let the PUC know that the public has a
right to more time to submit comments on the deal between Fryeburg Water
Company and Nestlé/Poland Spring.

We are pleased that the Public Advocate’s office called for an extension and
give a special shout out to Nisha Swinton with Food and Water Watch who
formally petitioned the PUC for an extension.

Now we have to demand a public hearing to force open the door and let the
light shine on the backroom deal that the Fryeburg Water Company has struck
with Nestlé/Poland Spring.  We know that a public hearing is not a part of the
formal record used to decide the case, but neither are decisions made in a
vacuum.  The PUC Commissioners need to know that there is widespread objection
to this deal.

All three Commissioners have been far too cozy with Nestlé. In our first
alert, we called out PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner David Littell
who both previously worked at Pierce, Atwood which has a long history of
representing Nestlé. We should have also mentioned that the third
commissioner, Mark Vannoy, worked as an Associate Vice President in the
infrastructure and civil practice group at Wright Pierce where he had close
associations with Nestlé.

Nestlé has no right to the water for the next 45 years. Fryeburg Water Company
has no right to guaranteed profits from selling the spring water to Nestlé.

As a nun once said to a VP of NWNA when we were invited inside after
protesting outside,  “Nestlé Water North America….who says the water belongs
to you?  It belongs to God.”  Some might say the water belongs to all life.

Water is a fundamental right for people and nature.  Nestlé’s profit should
not come before this fundamental right.

ACT TODAY:

Call PUC Attorney Matthew Kaply (207) 287-1368 who is in charge of this case.
Thank him for the extension and insist on a public hearing.

You can also call or e-mail Karen Geraghty, PUC Administrative Director to
whom formal requests are made.  Again, thank her for the extension and insist
on a public hearing.
Tel: 207-287-3831      e-mail:   karen.geraghty@maine.gov

As before, you can sign in as a registered public user on the PUC website and
post specific comments which will go to the staff and Commissioners.
http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/online/index.shtml   Put in Case No. 2008-00052

The pdf of the filed agreement is at
https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/MatterManagement/MatterFilingItem.aspx?FilingSeq=72309&CaseNumber=2008-00052

Thanks for all you do!
Ruth and Chris

ACTION ALERT: TELL PUC NO DEALS WITH NESTLÉ IN FRYEBURG

We’ve just learned that the private Fryeburg Water Company wants to seal a
deal with Nestlé/Poland Spring to guarantee that Nestlé buys at least 75
million gallons of spring water per year for the next 25 years with the option
to extend for up to four additional five-year terms – a total of 45 years.According to a news story in the Conway Daily Sun on Friday, “The two
companies have had a state-approved agreement since 2008, but the proposed
changes mean the agreement will need to be reviewed by the Maine Public
Utilities Commission.”The newspaper reports:  “The PUC announced it is currently accepting public
comment on the proposal. The comment period is open through Sept. 4.”

There are many reasons to oppose a private contract requiring Nestlé to buy
“at least 75 million gallons per year.”  Of particular concern, because it includes Nestlé drilling an additional well.  But the first step is to call for an extension of time for public comment and for a public hearing.

ACT TODAY!

Call PUC Attorney Matthew Kaply (207) 287-1368 who is in charge of this case
and demand that the public comment period be extended at least to the end of
September.  Also call for a public hearing.

You can also sign in as a registered public user on the PUC website and post
specific comments which will go to the staff and Commissioners.
http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/online/index.shtml  The case number is 2008-00052.

Here are a few talking points.
•       The public comment period must be extended at least to the end of
September. The original period of two weeks during peak vacation time and over
Labor Day weekend is totally unacceptable.

•       The issues need to be aired in a public hearing, not just hidden away
on the PUC website.

•       PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner Littell should recuse
themselves from this case due to their past association with Pierce, Atwood
which has a long history of representing Nestlé.  Commissioner Littell was an
attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as a partner.

•       Water is a fundamental right for people and nature.   Nestlé’s profit should not come before these fundamental rights. This agreement includes Nestle’s drilling of an additional well.

•       Only the Fryeburg Water Company will get to decide if there is a water
shortage in Fryeburg allowing less water to be sold to Nestlé, not the local
residents or businesses. Then only for 60 days! FWC has a financial interest
in denying there is any shortage.  Town residents and local businesses will
suffer while Nestlé will have its guaranteed 75 million gallons per year to
bottle and ship around the country.

•       This proposed 25-year contract would set a precedent for the state.
Nestlé could refer to this in future cases anywhere in the state.

•       The PUC must reject this proposed agreement.Here is the url for a pdf of the filed agreement.https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/MatterManagement/MatterFilingItem.aspx?FilingSeq=72309&CaseNumber=2008-00052

Thanks! Ruth and Chris

###

Here is an example letter submitted by Lisa S:

Water is a fundamental right for the people of Maine and their grandchildren, for the fish and other wildlife in our state, and for the farmers who feed us all.Fresh, potable water will surely become the scarcest resource on the planet during the 21st century. Allowing corporations to gain access to Maine’s incredible aquifer for profits to benefit their shareholders does not and should not come before these fundamental rights.The issues around allowing the Nestlé corporation broader access to pumping out and bottling Maine’s water as a consumer product are fundamental to life as we have known it here.

Therefore, the public comment period for Case 2008-00052 must be extended at least to the end of September, 2012. The original period of two weeks during peak vacation time and over Labor Day weekend is unacceptable. Further, it creates the impression that the Maine PUC is attempting to limit public input into this important decision.

Also, PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner Littell should recuse themselves from this case due to their past association with Pierce, Atwood which has a long history of representing Nestlé.  Commissioner Littell was an attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as a partner.

Under the proposed change, only the Fryeburg Water Company (FWC) would have the power to decide if there is a water shortage in Fryeburg allowing less water to be sold to Nestlé. Local residents and businesses would have no say in how to manage future water shortages.

Note that FWC has a financial interest in denying there is any shortage, so that town residents and local businesses could suffer water shortages while Nestlé enjoyed its guaranteed 75 million gallons per year to bottle for profit.

This proposed 25-year contract would set a precedent for the state. Nestlé could refer to this in future cases anywhere in the state. This suggests itself as a reason why the contract is being rushed through the PUC approval process.

ACTION ALERT: TELL PUC NO DEALS WITH NESTLÉ IN FRYEBURG

We’ve just learned that the private Fryeburg Water Company wants to seal a
deal with Nestlé/Poland Spring to guarantee that Nestlé buys at least 75
million gallons of spring water per year for the next 25 years with the option
to extend for up to four additional five-year terms – a total of 45 years.According to a news story in the Conway Daily Sun on Friday, “The two
companies have had a state-approved agreement since 2008, but the proposed
changes mean the agreement will need to be reviewed by the Maine Public
Utilities Commission.”The newspaper reports:  “The PUC announced it is currently accepting public
comment on the proposal. The comment period is open through Sept. 4.”

There are many reasons to oppose a private contract requiring Nestlé to buy
“at least 75 million gallons per year.”  Of particular concern, because it includes Nestlé drilling an additional well.  But the first step is to call for an extension of time for public comment and for a public hearing.

ACT TODAY!

Call PUC Attorney Matthew Kaply (207) 287-1368 who is in charge of this case
and demand that the public comment period be extended at least to the end of
September.  Also call for a public hearing.

You can also sign in as a registered public user on the PUC website and post
specific comments which will go to the staff and Commissioners.
http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/online/index.shtml  The case number is 2008-00052.

Here are a few talking points.
•       The public comment period must be extended at least to the end of
September. The original period of two weeks during peak vacation time and over
Labor Day weekend is totally unacceptable.

•       The issues need to be aired in a public hearing, not just hidden away
on the PUC website.

•       PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner Littell should recuse
themselves from this case due to their past association with Pierce, Atwood
which has a long history of representing Nestlé.  Commissioner Littell was an
attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as a partner.

•       Water is a fundamental right for people and nature.   Nestlé’s profit should not come before these fundamental rights. This agreement includes Nestle’s drilling of an additional well.

•       Only the Fryeburg Water Company will get to decide if there is a water
shortage in Fryeburg allowing less water to be sold to Nestlé, not the local
residents or businesses. Then only for 60 days! FWC has a financial interest
in denying there is any shortage.  Town residents and local businesses will
suffer while Nestlé will have its guaranteed 75 million gallons per year to
bottle and ship around the country.

•       This proposed 25-year contract would set a precedent for the state.
Nestlé could refer to this in future cases anywhere in the state.

•       The PUC must reject this proposed agreement.Here is the url for a pdf of the filed agreement.https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/MatterManagement/MatterFilingItem.aspx?FilingSeq=72309&CaseNumber=2008-00052

Thanks! Ruth and Chris

###

Here is an example letter submitted by Lisa S:

Water is a fundamental right for the people of Maine and their grandchildren, for the fish and other wildlife in our state, and for the farmers who feed us all.Fresh, potable water will surely become the scarcest resource on the planet during the 21st century. Allowing corporations to gain access to Maine’s incredible aquifer for profits to benefit their shareholders does not and should not come before these fundamental rights.The issues around allowing the Nestlé corporation broader access to pumping out and bottling Maine’s water as a consumer product are fundamental to life as we have known it here.

Therefore, the public comment period for Case 2008-00052 must be extended at least to the end of September, 2012. The original period of two weeks during peak vacation time and over Labor Day weekend is unacceptable. Further, it creates the impression that the Maine PUC is attempting to limit public input into this important decision.

Also, PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner Littell should recuse themselves from this case due to their past association with Pierce, Atwood which has a long history of representing Nestlé.  Commissioner Littell was an attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as a partner.

Under the proposed change, only the Fryeburg Water Company (FWC) would have the power to decide if there is a water shortage in Fryeburg allowing less water to be sold to Nestlé. Local residents and businesses would have no say in how to manage future water shortages.

Note that FWC has a financial interest in denying there is any shortage, so that town residents and local businesses could suffer water shortages while Nestlé enjoyed its guaranteed 75 million gallons per year to bottle for profit.

This proposed 25-year contract would set a precedent for the state. Nestlé could refer to this in future cases anywhere in the state. This suggests itself as a reason why the contract is being rushed through the PUC approval process.

Take Action against Takings!

DW4L testifies against the new Takings Bill, LD 1810, 2-21-12

Nestle is behind this bill!  We urge you to take action to oppose LD 1810 by contacting members of the Judciary Committee and your local representatives.  See our testimony for more info: https://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/takings-bill-testimony-from-dw4l-ld-1810-2-21-12/

“Bottled Life”, A New Documentary Film

DW4L has not yet had the chance to view this film, but it is a documentary about Nestle’s business of bottling water.

Here is a link to information about the film: http://www.bottledlifefilm.com/index.php/nestle-and-water.html

If you watch it, please write a review by selecting “comment” below this post.  Thanks!

Nestlé files augmentation plan for Arkansas River depletion

Joe Stone, Mail Staff Writer | Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 9:33 am

A substitute water supply plan filed Thursday by Nestlé Waters North America requests approval to augment out-of-priority depletions to the Arkansas River resulting from operations at Ruby Mountain Springs near Nathrop.

The request applies to the period from March 22, 2012, to March 21, 2013, and states that Nestlé will pump 196.08 acre-feet of water from the springs at a maximum rate of 200 gallons per minute and 16.6 acre-feet per month.

If the plan is approved by the state engineer, Nestlé will replace depletions with water originating from the Colorado River basin and leased from Aurora Water through a 10-year lease agreement for 200 acre-feet per year.

This augmentation water would be released from Twin Lakes Reservoir to the confluence of Lake Creek and the Arkansas River in Lake County.

Concerned parties have 30 days to file comments on the proposed substitute water supply plan.

Comments must include any claim of injury or any terms and conditions that should be imposed upon the plan to prevent injury to water rights. The state engineer will not consider comments received after Feb. 3.

Any appeal of the state engineer’s decision must be made to the applicable division water judge within 30 days of the decision.

Comments should be sent to the attention of Heidi Frey at the Division of Water Resources, 1313 Sherman Street, Room 818, Denver, Colorado 80203. Comments may also be sent to heidi.frey@state.co.us or faxed to 303-866-3589.

link to article: http://m.themountainmail.com/mobile/news/article_8dc5a97c-3884-11e1-84bc-001a4bcf6878.html

World Bank Sponsors ‘Water Resources Group’ aiming to Privatize Water Services in Less Developed Countries

Chris Buchanan, DW4L, December 8, 2011

In 2007, the World Economic Forum Water Initiative was created to “raise awareness among governments, businesses, and the expert community about the challenge of managing future water needs, and on piloting public-private-expert platforms for reform.”  http://www3.weforum.org/docs/IP/MM/Water_Resources_Group_Phase2_4pager.pdf

Out of this initiative came the 2030 Water Resources Group.  Formed in 2008, the WRG was sponsored by the International Finance Corporation, a part of the World Bank Group, which “provides investments and advisory services to build the private sector in developing countries.”  http://www.2030waterresourcesgroup.com/water_full/Charting_Our_Water_Future_Final.pdf 

Then in October 2009, WRG published a landmark report, Charting our Water Future, which analyses the global water supply-demand gap to 2030 and economic options to close the gap. Detailed case studies considered in the report include China, India, South Africa, Mexico and the state of São Paulo in Brazil. http://www.weforum.org/issues/water#note

In short, the mission of this group was not only to analyze water access worldwide, but to create a plan for privatization.  Defending Water for Life is extremely concerned about how the worldwide privatization of water services, combined with this international approach to support water commodification, will impact the human right to access water for life, and the rights of communities.

Below is an article by Corporate Accountability International from November 3, 2011, summarizing this monumental attack on the right to water for people, and not for profit:

The World Bank has launched a new partnership with global corporations including Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Veolia. Housed at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the new venture aspires to “transform the water sector” by inserting the corporate sector into what has historically been a public service. The new partnership is part of a broader trend of industry collusion to influence global water policy.

The venture — called the 2030 Water Resources Group Phase 2 Entity — aligns global corporations that have major financial stakes in water governance with the World Bank, one of the world’s leading development institutions. Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has been appointed to chair the Water Resources Group, which has already received $1.5 million in IFC funding. Nestlé is the world’s largest water bottling corporation.

Advocates for people’s access to water point to this as the latest example of water corporations’ efforts to interfere in legitimate, democratic water governance. The Water Resources Group presents a conflict of interest to the World Bank’s goal of poverty alleviation. It also advances an approach to water governance that is in incompatible with the U.N. recognized human right to water.

‘This is an unmistakably activist campaign by the private water industry to gain funding and credibility for a radical power grab, with the help of the World Bank,’ said Corporate Accountability International’s Senior Organizer Shayda Edwards Naficy. ‘According to the World Bank, 34 percent of private water contracts are in distress or terminated before maturity. Last April, the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman reported that an astounding 40 percent of complaints received from all regions and sectors were water-related. This is evidence that water privatization has been fraught with a range of problems, including broken promises for expanded service, wasted public funds and threats to human rights, especially for the lowest income families. For the Bank to sanction this approach despite a track record of failure points to compromised decision-making at the Bank due to pervasive partnerships with and financial stakes in corporations.’

Currently, 90 percent of the world’s water-users access water through public delivery. Turning these systems over to private corporations would result in rate hikes, cutoffs and significant layoffs of water sector employees. Focusing on the private sector also distracts from the need to support governments in protecting human rights.

The Water Resources Group aims to ‘develop new normative approaches to water management,’ paving the way for an expanded private sector role into best and common practices, worldwide. In order to be eligible for support from this new fund, all projects must “provide for at least one partner from the private sector,” not simply as a charitable funder, but ‘as part of its operations.’ The group’s strategy is to insert the private sector into water management one country at a time, through a combination of industry-funded research and direct partnerships with government agencies. Currently, the Water Resources Group is formally working with the governments of Jordan, Mexico, and the Indian state of Karnataka, and discussions are ongoing with the governments of South Africa, China and several other countries slated for participation in the next phase.

‘Corporate Accountability International has consistently demonstrated the World Bank’s inherent conflicts of interest, acting as an investor, a government advisor, an arbitrator and a public relations vehicle in support of profiteering in the water sector,’ said Naficy. ‘Global water corporations must not be allowed to tap into public ‘development funds’ to promote their private agenda because case after case shows that profitability and fulfillment of human rights in the water sector are at odds.’

Corporate Accountability International (formerly Infact) is a membership organization that has, for the last 34 years, successfully advanced campaigns protecting health, the environment and human rights. Through its Campaign Challenging Corporate Control of Water, Corporate Accountability International is playing a leadership role in the global movement to secure the human right to water, and people’s access to water; prevent corporate control of water; preserve and protect water resources and systems for the public good; and preserve water resources as an ecological trust.

link to the article: http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/77639

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tan Claro Como Agua Turbia (As Clear as Muddy Water)

This article is about Nestle’s targetting of Latino communities to market bottled water. The article is entirely in Spanish, but you can look up more information at: http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/node/1571

Empresas promueven producto con más energía entre los consumidores hispanos

Róger Lindo | 2011-11-06 La Opinión

Universidades, grupos comunitarios y líderes latinos han iniciado una campaña para contrarrestar lo que denominan las técnicas manipulativas de las compañías embotelladoras de agua para comercializarla entre los hispanos a precios muy superiores a los que costaría obtenerla del grifo, que es la fuente de la mayor parte del producto envasado.

Aunque dirigida a las grandes corporaciones que dominan el negocio del agua en botella, los organizadores han enfilado sus baterías especialmente contra el conglomerado suizo Nestlé, que según ellos está promoviendo el producto con singular energía entre los consumidores hispanos.

La campaña arrancó en el Bronx, Nueva York, donde se montó una demostración con personas de ese barrio que fueron invitadas a una prueba para ver si podían diferenciar entre el agua de grifo y la de botella.

La mayoría de ellos no pudieron distinguir entre una y otra, según Erin Díaz, organizadora nacional de Corporate Accountability International, el grupo que movilizó el esfuerzo. El congresista de Arizona Raúl Grijalva y la organización National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALAC) son participantes en este.

“El agua no debe ser una mercancía”, comentó Díaz, añadiendo que la campaña que se inició persigue educar a la población sobre el tema del agua, y apoyar la validez de los sistemas públicos de abastecimiento del líquido. Según ella las embotelladoras transnascionales han hecho muchos esfuerzos para cambiar la percepción que la gente tiene sobre el agua.

“Durante los últimos años estas embotelladoras han visto estancarse sus ventas, de ahí que Nestlé haga una campaña específica con la comunidad latina”. Un estudio reciente de la publicación Archivos de Medicina Pediátrica y de Adolescentes, que la campaña invoca, destacó que los padres hispanos y afroamericanos tenían triple propensión que el resto de la población a dar agua de botella en lugar de la del grifo a sus hijos. Detrás de esta costumbre se encuentra la creencia de que esta es más higiénica y saludable.

Jane Lazgin, portavoz de Nestle Water de Norteamérica, rebatió los alegatos de la campaña anticorporativa. “Nuestros productos son promovidos en todos los segmentos del mercado estadounidense y la inversión en mercadotecnia que hacemos en el caso del agua es mínima en comparación con lo que se gasta en promover las gaseosas o la cerveza”, respondió.

Enfatizó que la difusión que la compañía hace privilegia el consumo de agua por encima de otras bebidas, y fomenta su consumo. Esto es de particular importancia en el caso de los hispanos, dijo, cuyas tasas de obesidad son superiores a las de la población en general.

“Sustituir una bebida azucarada de 12 onzas y 140 calorías por agua al día te puede ahorrar 4,200 calorías al mes”, reza un anuncio desplegado en el sitio de internet de la compañía.

“Es cierto que las viñetas de nuestros producto dicen que esta origina en las fuentes públicas, pero también aclaran que se trata de agua purificada, pasada por estrictos controles de calidad que eliminan el claro y otros contaminantes”, dijo la representantes de la empresa suiza.

http://www.impre.com/laopinion/noticias/la-california/2011/11/6/tan-claro-como-agua-turbia-280989-1.html