Nestlé’s Poland Spring is being sued over allegations that their “100 percent natural spring water” is actually just common groundwater, reports Bangor Daily News. The plaintiffs are 11 individual customers who are suing as part of a class action. Their lawsuit claims that the real Poland Spring ran dry nearly 50 years ago, therefore accusing Nestlé of selling ordinary purified groundwater. Food and Drug Administration regulations state that bottled water must either come from a spring or be siphoned off the ground-well that supplies that spring, according to the 325-page suit. [related]
Nestlé insists they draw water from eight natural springs in Maine, but the lawsuit alleges that in order to produce the “nearly one billion gallons” of Poland Spring water sold, each of the eight springs would have to flow at 245 gallons per minute — something “more akin to a geyser than a spring.” The plaintiffs insist that there is no evidence that the eight springs currently exist, or that six ever existed at all.
One of the plaintiffs, Erica Russell, a resident of New Jersey, says she has purchased hundreds of dollars of Poland Spring Water. According to the lawsuit, she purchased at least three to four bottles weekly between 2006 and 2016 from local 7-Eleven and Wawa stores and, in recent years, purchased 24-bottle packages from grocery stores every two weeks. “Had she known that Poland Spring Water was groundwater rather than ‘100% Natural Spring Water’ she would not have purchased Poland Spring Water products and would have consumed filtered tap water,” states the suit.
The suit claims that the Poland Spring labels are unlawful, false, and misleading. The plaintiffs want all Poland Spring bottles removed from store shelves and re-labeled to not reference the allegedly non-existent spring.
Nestlé denied these accusations, releasing a statement that read: “The claims made in the lawsuit are without merit and an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain. Poland Spring is 100 percent spring water.”
You may have been surprised to learn that the Switzerland-based Nestlé owns Poland Spring, but the water giant is only one part of the Nestlé Waters portfolio. Click here to learn more about the 10 companies who make almost everything you eat and drink.