FDA Warning on ‘Fancy’ Bottled Water

FDA Warning on ‘Fancy’ Bottled Water
FDA Warning on ‘Fancy’ Bottled Water

The Health Ministry has warned that the authenticity of “luxury” bottled water sold at fancy restaurants and upscale markets in the capital Tehran has not been ascertained.

These expensive bottles promoted as being oxygen-infused, imported from a specific country, or enriched with certain minerals and vitamins, have been labeled as “luxury water” among the public who have taken the matter online via social networks.

Presented in pictures on Instagram or talked about in tweets on Twitter, the water bottles are sold from 180,000 rials ($5) to as high as 600,000 rials ($18) and are mostly purchased by the wealthy upper classes who are always looking for the latest trends. Locally produced mineral water costs 20 cents a bottle.

“The health benefits of these water bottles cannot be ensured,” warned deputy health minister and head of the Food and Drug Administration Rasoul Dinarvand.

“These brands are only seen in markets and restaurants in upscale parts of Tehran, and are not accredited by the FDA,” he told ISNA, adding that they are most probably smuggled.

In an earlier interview with the news agency, head of the National Standards Organization had said that all bottled water that legally comes into the country is inspected and accredited by the NSO.

“A number of foreign brands of bottled water have been imported and checked as per the NSO health protocols,” said Nayereh Pirouzbakht.

The Iranian Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Iranian Customs Administration also say the brands have not been imported legally.

“We are not aware of any organization issuing an import permit for these particular products,” said Peyman Forouhar, secretary of the IBWA.

There is a high chance for contraband and counterfeit products entering the country through illegal channels, he noted.

“Although bottled and packaged water has a small share in the goods smuggled into the country, they reach store shelves and find their way into people’s homes nonetheless, and could pose a health threat.”

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