The Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) has instructed Wieting & Richter to recall its illegally labelled Crystal Spring bottled water from the market.
GA-FDD Director Marlan Cole told Stabroek News yesterday that while the investigation has not been completed, the company has been instructed to recall all of the bottled water with the ‘treated with Antinfek’ labels. “What we know now is that the label was never approved by the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department and we have written an official letter giving them the directive to pull the product from the market,” he explained.
However, when it comes to testing whether the company is still using the chemical, Cole explained that it is impossible to do so from the bottled water. He explained that Antinfek leaves no residual evidence that can be detected by any tests. “We can just test to ensure that it’s free of micro-organisms and bacteria,” he explained.
When Stabroek News tried to contact Wieting & Richter yesterday to enquire whether the recall had begun, an employee related that no one who could comment was available and no one would be available for the next two weeks.
However, Stabroek News was reliably informed that the product was still being sold as per normal.
Wieting and Richter Ltd, which produces and bottles Crystal Spring Natural Hydration H20 had plastered a small grey sticker on the labels of its bottles, hiding a section that reads: ‘Organically treated with Antinfek 10H by Dove Biotech.’
With reference to Dove Biotech, which is selling the chemical in the country, a source from the GA-FDD had explained that it was illegal for the company to be marketing the product and making presentations to companies in the country, since it was not even registered with the department.
Wieting and Richter had explained that it had opted to hide parts of the label after it stopped using the chemical in October. However, the GA-FDD source had explained that the company should not have been using the chemical in the first place and if it had stopped using it, it should have recalled all of its products from the market and replaced them with batches that had not been treated with Antinfek and which had been properly labelled.