Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) was notified on May 17 that the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, has granted its motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against NWNA regarding the labeling of Poland Spring Brand 100 Percent Natural Spring Water.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision to dismiss this meritless lawsuit,” said Charles Broll, Nestlé Waters EVP and general counsel. “Poland Spring is what we have always said it is—100 percent natural spring water, meeting all FDA regulations for spring water. Consumers can be confident in the honesty and accuracy of the labels on every bottle of Poland Spring.”
NWNA and law firm DLA Piper also announced the results of the firm’s independent investigation into whether Poland Spring Brand 100 percent Natural Spring Water meets the requirements of the federal spring water identity standard.
The investigation team at DLA Piper confirmed the determinations of state regulators that Poland Spring is properly labeled as “spring water.”
“This report represents the independent findings of DLA Piper based on the totality of the information we collected and reviewed,” said former Maine U.S. Senator George Mitchell, who is chairman emeritus of the law firm. “DLA Piper has concluded that Poland Spring Brand spring water sources satisfy the requirements of the federal spring water identity standard; and, as a result, the use of the term ‘spring water’ on Poland Spring labels is both accurate and appropriate.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency that regulates the labeling of bottled water, has adopted a regulation setting forth a series of requirements for a brand to be called spring water, known as the federal spring water identity standard. The DLA Piper investigation team sought to determine whether NWNA had received regulatory approvals based on certification requirements identical to the requirements in the federal standard.
The investigation team included Dr. David Boutt, professional hydro geologist and associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Boutt visited all eight Poland Spring Brand spring water source locations in Maine, accompanied by members of the DLA review panel, to examine the spring water production sites and reviewed the hydro geologic evidence presented to regulators.
DLA Piper also interviewed NWNA employees and independent professionals, including professional hydro geologists who participated in producing scientific analyses submitted in support of the regulatory approvals.
The study concluded with three major statements:
- The state regulators’ approvals of Poland Spring Brand Spring Water sources are based on requirements identical to the federal spring water identity.
- The NWNA has continuously implemented a rigorous program to assure compliance with federal identity standard requirements.
- Hydro geologic analyses confirm regulatory approvals of spring water sources for Poland Spring satisfy all of the requirements of the federal spring water identity standard.
“The hydro geologic reports that NWNA provided to the state regulators represent clear and conclusive evidence that each of the Poland Spring spring sources is in compliance with the federal definition of spring water,” said Dr. Boutt.
Reacting to the court decision, Broll said, “We enlisted the team at DLA Piper to answer one question, without conditions: Is Poland Spring what we say it is? We did so, before any of the class action litigation matters were filed against us, because of our deep commitment to ensuring full compliance with laws and regulations.
He added, “We are pleased—but not surprised—with their conclusion that validates that Poland Spring Brand spring water is appropriately labeled under the applicable legal and regulatory framework.”