France: Police Investigate Two Nestlé Bottling Sites

The French Senate will initiate a parliamentary investigation into Nestlé's treatment of its mineral water in France. Led by Antoinette Guhl from Groupe Écologiste du Senat, the inquiry aims to scrutinize the practices of bottled water manufacturers and assess the state's role in regulating their activities and managing associated health risks. The investigation, dubbed a "flash" inquiry, was proposed by over 60 senators and is scheduled to conclude by July 15, as reported by French daily Libération.

The inquiry follows Nestlé's admission of using illegal purification treatments for some of its bottled mineral waters in France including the brands Perrier and Vittel (, 29.1.2024). These treatments, including the use of disinfectants, were employed due to occasional bacterial or chemical contamination, which violates French law for waters labeled as 'natural' or 'spring' water. Concerns over Nestlé's bottled water quality were raised by the national food safety watchdog, ANSES, as early as October 2023, with doubts further highlighted by a separate inquiry launched by prosecutors in northeastern France.

Additionally on Tuesday, Nestlé's French water plants faced police inspections over allegations of illegal plastic residue dumping in landfills. The searches at two of Nestlé's bottling sites in Vosges were part of an ongoing investigation into environmental concerns surrounding former landfills on the premises. Despite Nestlé's commitment to cooperating with authorities and managing the former landfills, environmental activist groups have raised alarms about potential chemical and plastic pollution risks associated with these sites.

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