Food Engineering

Water cannot be labeled organic, says Australian consumer watchdog

Seven bottled water suppliers will remove the word from their packaging as a result.

July 18, 2013

Bottled water cannot be called organic, says Australian consumer watchdog

It appears seven Australian bottled water suppliers have gone too far in their zeal to bring organic and health-conscious products to market. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says organic refers to agricultural products that have been farmed using certain practices. Water is not an agricultural product, and therefore cannot be labeled organic by ACCC's standards.

ACCC says credence claims like organic, meant to signify the product possesses a premium attribute, often result in higher prices for consumers. “Consumers must be able to trust that products match descriptions on labels so they can make informed purchasing decisions," says ACCC deputy chair Celia Rickard. "Misleading credence claims can also undermine the level playing field and disadvantage other suppliers.”