Bottled Water Companies Commend CA. Gov. Schwarzenegger For his veto of AB 301

International Bottled Water Association | Immediate Release | October 1, 2010

Bottled Water Companies Commend CA. Gov. Schwarzenegger For his veto of AB 301

Alexandria, VA – The members of the International Bottled Water Association, (IBWA) in conjunction with the California Bottled Water Association (CBWA), commend Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his veto of Assembly Bill 301(sponsored by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes) on September 29, 2010. If enacted, AB 301 would have required bottled water companies in California to annually provide the California Department of Health (DPH) with new information regarding the total annual volume of water bottled or sold for either wholesale or retail use in the state, and would have required the DPH to make this information available to the public.

Bottled water is highly regulated as a packaged food product by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as by the California Department of Public Health (DPH) which licenses bottled water sold in California. If enacted, AB 301 would have placed unnecessary, costly and potentially harmful regulatory requirements on bottled water companies within the state, without providing any additional public health benefits to California residents.

AB 301 was redundant. Water bottlers producing or shipping product into California are already providing the state with substantial information as part of their regular permit application and renewal process. Some portions of AB 301 were duplicative and unnecessary.

AB 301 did not address a California public health issue. In fact, DPH opposed AB 301 because of its cost and regulatory impact.

Allocation of money from the Food Safety Fund in order to implement AB 301 could have jeopardized the success of other more important health related programs in California.

If the purpose of AB 301 was to capture groundwater withdrawal data to better manage groundwater usage in California, IBWA believes it is imperative that all groundwater users, not just the bottled water industry, be required to report such data to the California Department of Resources.

In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed essentially the same Assembly bill. As he stated on September 29th, “This bill wasn’t necessary in 2008 when I first vetoed it, and it isn’t necessary now.”

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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.  

In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.  

IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.