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Water firms cite lab reports

New Delhi. Feb. 4: Leading packaged water companies today said their products fully conformed with BIS regulations and are routinely certified as safe to drink by independent laboratories.

Pepsi, the makers of Aquafina, rebutted the findings of the CSE study by insisting that it had reports from independent laboratories that showed their mineral water contained no traces of any pesticide residue.

“Aquafina bottled water is produced to meet WHO-prescribed standards and follows a stringent seven-step process of purification. No residual pesticide has ever been detected in Aquafina as per consistent tests conducted by the NABL-accredited ISO 9001 national VIMTA Laboratories,” said a Pepsi spokesperson.

It said the seven-step purification process it follows includes chlorination, sand filter, 5 micron polisher, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet irradiation, 1 micron polisher and ozonation.

A Coke spokesperson said: “We have not seen the report, so we cannot comment on its findings. But on our part, we can say that we meet all the regulatory norms stipulated by the Government of India, including the BIS standards.”

“We routinely send our samples to the government-authorised laboratories and they’ve never detected pesticides in our products,” Rohit Verma, executive director of Prime Water, told The Telegraph.

He said a technology called reverse osmosis used to treat the water ensures that no pesticide residues remain in the water.

“I think most leading brands use reverse osmosis,” he said.

Verma said laboratories like the Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Research and a food laboratory at the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry are involved in certifying bottled water.

Bisleri officials could not be contacted for comment.

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