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30.03.2004 Business & Finance

FDB says Dasani bottle water is safe -

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Accra, March 29, GNA - The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) on Monday said it was satisfied with the production of Dasani Bottled Water produced by The Coca Cola Bottling Company of Ghana. "The FDB, therefore, wishes to assure the consuming public that there is no risk in patronizing Dasani water..." A statement signed by Mr Karl Tufuor, Head of the Communications Department of the FDB for the Chief Executive said the company in United Kingdom, voluntarily initiated the product recall of its Bottled Water as precaution which affected the UK because of concerns about the level of bromate.

The amount of bromate found in the affected product was between 10 and 22 parts pre billion (ppb) which was within the acceptable limits set by the EU (up to 25ppb) but does not meet the standards set in the UK for bottled and tap water. The statement said meanwhile, the British Food Standards Agency had told the company in UK that the levels of bromate did not pose an immediate danger. It said water standards were set taking into consideration a number of factors adding that, "in UK, calcium is a legal requirement in all bottled water products".

This meant that manufacturers had to fortify the water with calcium during processing. "To deliver the required calcium, Coca Cola UK adds Calcium Chloride (CaCl) to its Dasani bottled water. "However the CaCl added this time contained the impurity bromide, which led to the formation of bromate during the ozonation step of production, hence the voluntary recall," it said. The FDB said fortification of bottled water was not a legal requirement in Ghana. "The Coca Coal Company produces Dasani but via another route that skips the calcium fortification step. Thus even though the ozonation is applied the possibility of oxygen, from the ozone, reaching with bromide contaminated CaCl to produce bromate is ruled out".