13 Jan 2009

$25,000 fine for bottled water claims

5:34 pm on 13 January 2009

Two brands of mineral and distilled water described as "energised" have cost their manufacturer $25,000 after a ruling by the Commerce Commission that the products are nothing more than processed tap water.

Big Blue Limited was fined $25,000 in Auckland District Court on Monday for misleading customers and making false scientific claims about the products.

The commission says a reverse-osmosis process was used to purify the water products, which were then claimed to be energised by vibration technology.

The commission has found that such vibration does not produce any measurable change to the water. Further, the company did not run any tests to prove the claim.

Although the water is safe to drink, the commission says such claims of special health benefits mislead consumers and undermine competitors.