U.S. Water News Online
LONDON -- The Coca-Cola Co. said it is withdrawing its
Dasani bottled water from sale in Britain after finding that samples
contained higher-than-permitted levels of the chemical bromate.
A Coca-Cola spokesman said the voluntary withdrawal was a
precautionary measure. Only Britain was affected.
``We haven't yet confirmed when and how we'll be back in the
market,'' spokesman Jonathan Chandler said. ``We'll make a
communication on the next steps when we're ready to make them.''
The Food Standards Agency said there was no immediate risk to
public health, and described Coca-Cola's decision to stop selling
Dasani in Britain as ``sensible.'' It said bromate can cause an
increased cancer risk as a result of long-term exposure.
Coca-Cola, which launched Dasani in Britain last month, said the
higher-than-permitted levels of bromate occurred as a result of a
process aimed at adding calcium to its bottled water.
``We do understand the problem and have a solution for it,''
The withdrawal began and was expected to be 80 percent to 85
percent complete within 24 hours, Coca-Cola said.
The U.K. requires calcium to be added to the water, said Kelly
Brooks, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based company. Calcium is not
added to U.S. Dasani and recent testing by an independent lab
indicated no detectible bromate levels, Brooks said.
Dasani suffered a rash of bad publicity earlier this month when
British newspapers discovered the product was purified tap water --
something Coke had always acknowledged. Following the newspaper
stories, the Food Standards Agency said it was inquiring whether Coke
was entitled to use the term ``pure'' in describing Dasani.
Shares of Coca-Cola fell 26 cents to close at $48.78 on the New
York Stock Exchange.
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