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FSSAI wants water packaging units to get its licence

June 28, 2016 19:35 IST

Out of total 5,842 registered water packaging units, 1,495 units have both BIS and FSSAI licences, while 4,347 units have only BIS certification.

Food regulator FSSAI has asked state authorities to crack down on mineral water packaging units that are operating without its licence.

As many as 75 per cent of the packaging units, owned by various firms, including Pepsico and Bisleri, are said to be operating without an FSSAI licence. These units are operating under a BIS certification.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), however, feels there is no safety or quality concern over the bottled water supplied by these units.

Out of total 5,842 registered water packaging units, 1,495 units have both BIS and FSSAI licences, while 4,347 units have only BIS certification.

"FSSAI regulations require mandatory BIS certification on packaged water. However, there is a need for such businesses to obtain FSSAI certification for which we have already written to the state food commissioners," FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said.

When asked about the quality of the bottled water which are sold without FSSAI licence, he said: "BIS has robust system of ensuring quality of packaged water. There is no issue of safety of packaged water at all, if the packaged water businesses have obtained BIS certification."

Most of the companies have no issues in obtaining FSSAI licence as per the feedback received by the regulator, he added.

Stating that many of the bottlers are not abiding by the law, Agarwal said: "Out of close to 6,000 registered packaged water units in the country, more than 4,300 don't have FSSAI licence, which also include some reputed names, where some of their units may not have food regulator's approval."

According to the regulator data, the units which do not have FSSAI licence include units of Hindustan Coca-cola, Pepsico and Bisleri, among others.

Pepsico sells its packaged water under the brand name Aquafina, Coca-cola sells under the name Kinley, while Bisleri sells under its own name.

When contacted, Pepsico India and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages said that they manufacture packaged drinking water under valid licences.

PepsiCo India spokesperson said: "We at PepsiCo strictly adhere to all quality and regulatory norms and all our packaged drinking water is manufactured under valid licences issued by relevant authorities. We have not received any communication from authorities in this regard."

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages said that it has all the approvals and permissions, including BIS and FSSAI, to manufacture packaged drinking water for all its 26 factories.

"Our factories are fully compliant with all local regulations and have all the approvals and permissions required to operate these factories," Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages said.

"This list of permissions include the BIS and FSSAI approvals for manufacturing packaged drinking water," it said.

"Quality and safety of our products is paramount to us. Kinley is a brand built on consumer trust and love and we will never do anything that contravenes the faith and trust that consumers repose in our products," it added. 

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