Nestlé sinks into deep water over scandal

mineral water of Nestlé's brand Henniez
Nestlé’s Henniez mineral water brand is also involved in a scandal. (Image: media service)

There are new revelations in the scandal surrounding illegal treatment methods at food giant Nestlé. The company seems completely helpless.

The Swiss food company Nestlé has admitted to using illegal treatment methods for mineral water and the events surrounding this scandal are spreading.

Nestlé Waters admitted to using banned activated carbon filters and ultraviolet light in its French brands Perrier, Vittel, Hépar and Contrex following media revelations, as was reported by

Authorities are watching

But now the already-unpleasant affair is escalating. The illegal behavior was also used in Switzerland, as the French-speaking Swiss newspaper “Le Temps” discovered, to which the food giant immediately confirmed.

Under the supervision of the cantonal and federal authorities, Nestlé Waters Switzerland had removed the activated carbon filters in its factory in Henniez VD by the end of 2022, it reported.

In addition, ultraviolet systems were never used in the factory in Henniez, the company further explained.

Why the Swiss authorities did not inform the public now remains to be clarified.

Many assurances

In any case, Nestlé excused its actions by saying that ‘nature provides different qualities’ and that the company wanted to ensure food safety.

But natural mineral water has to be ‘natural’ – as the term suggests.

However, these unauthorized protective measures at the Vaud factory have been discontinued as of the end of 2022, the company has now affirmed.

Nestlé had already announced on Monday in France that it had informed the French authorities in 2021 that it had used prohibited treatments with ultraviolet light and activated carbon filters for some of its mineral water products.

For three years, however, production has been fully compliant with the law, those responsible asserted.

Honest reappraisal necessary

But credibility is completely at stake here because who will tell customers that Nestlé has not used such illegal practices elsewhere for products such as KitKat, Nesquik, Nespresso or even in baby food? Probably no one.

It would certainly have been a thousand times better for Nestlé to have disclosed the problems to the public itself than to have flushed them down the drain. Instead, inquisitive journalists had to find out first. Now the company is on the run after those events.

Honest investigation that restores credibility, especially for a giant Swiss food company, looks different.

This should be a warning to other companies.


Nestlé sinks into deep water over scandal

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