A father and son in Nevada have been ordered on Monday to halt distribution of their branded bottled waters after 5 youngsters have been reportedly sickened after ingesting the merchandise, which federal prosecutors mentioned consisted of faucet water “processed with various chemicals.”
Companies run by the lads, Brent A. Jones and Blain Okay. Jones, violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act “by distributing adulterated and misbranded bottled water,” the Justice Department mentioned in a statement on Tuesday. In an order signed on Monday, Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey of the U.S. District Court for Nevada formalized a settlement by which the Joneses agreed to cease processing the merchandise and destroy any of their possession.
According to the criticism, which was filed final month on the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the F.D.A. received information that at the least 5 youngsters had skilled instances of acute non-viral hepatitis, a situation that may lead to liver failure, after ingesting an alkaline water product branded as Re²al Water.
Other complaints involving Re²al Water reported nausea and vomiting. As a end result, the company warned consumers, eating places, distributors and retailers not to drink, cook dinner with, promote or serve the product.
The Southern Nevada Health District later linked the death of at the least one one who consumed the product, a girl in her 60s, to acute non-viral hepatitis.
The corporations, AffinityLifestyles.com and Real Water, had distributed bottled water underneath the model names Re²al Water Drinking Water and Re²al Alkalized Water from amenities in Henderson, Nev., and Mesa, Ariz., in accordance to court docket data.
Federal prosecutors mentioned that whereas the businesses promoted their merchandise as a wholesome different to faucet water, the merchandise “in fact consisted of municipal tap water that the defendants processed with various chemicals in violation of current good manufacturing practices, relevant food safety standards and hazard prevention measures.”
According to the prosecutors, inspections by the F.D.A. discovered “multiple regulatory violations” within the corporations’ manufacturing processes and “multiple failures to follow current good-manufacturing practice requirements for water-bottling facilities.”
“Food and water sold to consumers must be safe,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s civil division mentioned in a press release. “The Department of Justice will continue to work closely with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that bottled water and other products we eat and drink are manufactured in compliance with the law.”
J. Lee Gray, the lawyer for the Joneses, mentioned on Wednesday that the corporate’s coverage “is to refrain from commenting on pending litigation and investigations.”
He added, “Real Water takes customer safety and satisfaction very seriously and has worked to cooperate with F.D.A. and local health officials in their ongoing investigations of reported health issues.”
In a video posted on the corporate’s web site in March, Brent A. Jones, the president of Real Water, apologized to prospects in regards to the federal investigation into the protection of its merchandise, which it had voluntarily recalled.
“The lessons learned in this will drive further improvement in the brand,” the elder Mr. Jones, a former Republican lawmaker within the Nevada State Assembly, mentioned within the video. He added that the corporate started over 13 years in the past “with the intention to provide a healthy product that benefits and elevates people’s lifestyles.” As of Wednesday, the corporate’s website says it’s underneath upkeep.
Prosecutors mentioned that the defendants agreed to settle the go well with, which requires the defendants to destroy any meals, together with bottled-water merchandise, that they might nonetheless have of their possession.
As a part of the settlement, the defendants affirmed that they have been not “processing, preparing, packing or distributing water or any other type of food.”
The settlement additionally stipulates that earlier than they course of or distribute any meals sooner or later, the Joneses should first notify the F.D.A. and permit the company to examine amenities and procedures prematurely.
“We are committed to preventing harmful products from entering the nation’s food supply, and we will take enforcement action when a company fails to follow the law,” Judy McMeekin, an F.D.A. affiliate commissioner, mentioned within the assertion.