Keurig Dr Pepper suspends production of Peñafiel brand
Keurig Dr Pepper is suspending its production of its Peñafiel brand water as Consumer Reports urges for tougher federal standards and a full recall on bottled water.
According to Consumer Reports, Starkey Water—the name of Whole Foods’ brand—recalled more than 2,000 cases of water after tests by regulators showed an impermissible level of arsenic beyond the federally mandated threshold of 10 parts per billion. A year later, Whole Foods' internal testing showed results that were just under the federal limit but still at levels that pose risks if regularly consumed, according to growing research and independent experts, including Consumer Reports scientists.
Over the past few years, as consumers have worried more about the quality of municipal tap water, bottled water has surged in popularity and is now the nation’s best-selling bottled beverage. But a Consumer Reports investigation has found that in some cases bottled water on store shelves contains more potentially harmful arsenic than tap water flowing into some homes.
“It makes no sense that consumers can purchase bottled water that is less safe than tap water,” says James Dickerson, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Consumer Reports. “If anything, bottled water—a product for which people pay a premium, often because they assume it’s safer—should be regulated at least as strictly as tap water.”
Through its investigation, Consumer Reports identified 11 brands out of more than 130 that either self-reported or, based on tests we commissioned, had detectable amounts of arsenic. Of those, six had levels of 3 ppb or higher. These brands are Starkey (owned by Whole Foods), Peñafiel (owned by Keurig Dr Pepper), Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Volvic (owned by Danone), and two regional brands, Crystal Creamery and EartH₂O.
Keurig Dr Pepper said that it had suspended bottled water production for two weeks at its Mexico facility that makes Peñafiel for export to the U.S. It plans to improve filtration at the plant to lower arsenic levels, the company told CR. For its latest internal testing, the company said it used a different protocol and consulted the FDA. A recall isn’t planned, according to the company.
“An arsenic level of 17 ppb is a clear violation of the federal bottled water standard of 10 ppb,” says Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumer Reports. “Keurig Dr Pepper should recall all Peñafiel water currently on the market that may contain these violative levels. If they do not act, the FDA should mandate a recall.”
To read the full report, click here.