An industry association in Beijing is suggesting that Nongfu Spring, a popular brand of bottled water, should be withdrawn from the market in the capital city due to quality problems.
The Bottled Water Sales Association of Beijing published a notice yesterday saying that Nongfu Spring water was not only in violation of national standards but also guilty of false advertising and misleading customers.
The Zhejiang Province-based company had not provided the association with any quality certificate related to its production of bottled water in the Beijing region.
The association said it was publishing its notice in order to protect the bottled water market in the capital and nearby areas.
So far, there has been no response from Nongfu Spring to the claims.
In a recent poll on eastmoney.com, more than two-thirds of 9,500 people said they believed the standards Nongfu Spring was using were less strict than national standards. More than 85 percent of respondents said they would not buy bottled water from the company.
Nongfu Spring, which produces 21.8 percent of all bottled water in the Chinese market, has been under fire for allegedly having looser standards regarding a number of chemical elements than those for tap water.
China is working to unify different sets of bottled water quality standards, a major food safety agency said yesterday.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission is clearing up four state quality standards related to bottled water as well as a number of local and industrial standards and will finish work by the end of this year, the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, an agency in charge of monitoring and assessing food safety risks, said.
It said that a new unified national standard will come out by the end of 2015, Xinhua news agency reported.
However, the agency denied that the quality of bottled water is lower than that of tap water.
According to China's food safety law and standards, producers should bottle water that meets the same quality standards as tap water, it said.
Yesterday's Beijing News said that different standards were being used by companies involved in the bottled water industry due to inefficient supervision.