Nestlé reconnaît avoir réalisé des traitements illégaux sur ses eaux en bouteille en France

# In France, Nestlé admits to having carried out illegal treatments on its bottled waters
Nestlé Waters, the world’s leading mineral water company, deceived consumers for years, according to an investigation by our colleagues at Radio France and the newspaper *Le Monde*. The journalists revealed on Tuesday, January 30th, that the Swiss multinational used treatments that did not comply with regulations to treat its mineral waters. The fraud authorities are now looking into the treatments that the mineral waters would have undergone – treatments prohibited by law. During their research, investigators realized that the practice was common. These filters are commonly used to treat tap water. The problem is that mineral water is supposed to be naturally “pure” water that does not need treatment. “*Bottled mineral water is 100 times more expensive than tap water*,” according to *Le Monde*, but according to Nestlé’s marketing materials, it is also supposed to be “*purer*,” “*healthier*,” and “*better for health*.” Nestlé did not just use illegal filters. Investigators also discovered that “the company directly mixed its spring waters with… tap water”. The company admits to having used prohibited filters, but ensures that these treatments “have always aimed to guarantee food safety”. The company justifies the use of these techniques by the “evolutions of the environment around its sources”. In other words, the water was polluted by “different chemical or microbiological elements”, which accumulate as “the water passes through the groundwater or through its passage in the factory’s pipes”. Nestlé France now claims to have discontinued the prohibited treatments and even closed problematic wells. According to the authorities, there is no further risk for consumption. However, various administrative reports in recent years show that Nestlé deliberately concealed these contaminations and treatments. The justice system now says that it “could initiate legal action for deception”. In 2021, the multinational itself requested a meeting with the Ministry of Industry, a meeting that remained confidential. Nestlé, which holds more than a third of the bottled water market in France, acknowledges everything, and explains that without these treatments it would no longer be possible to exploit its water sources, regularly contaminated by bacteria or by chemicals such as pesticide residues. The government does not bring the case to court, and Nestlé even requests exemptions.

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