Unfair Competition? The Peñafiel Case

An investigation prepared by Consumer Reports, which analyzed 130 brands of bottled water marketed in the United States, revealed that at least six brands were above the arsenic limit recommended for human consumption. One of the brands on this list was the company of Mexican origin Peñafiel.

The research pointed out that Peñafiel mineral water contains an average of 18.1ppb of arsenic when the recommended limit is 10 ppb. It is known that prolonged exposure to arsenic is directly associated with conditions such as high blood pressure, skin disorders, diabetes and cancer risks.

Keurig Dr. Pepper, the company that owns the brand, sent a statement announcing the temporary suspension of production at its plants in Tehuacán, Puebla, and Tlajomulco, Jalisco, which is where the production that goes to the US market comes from. In addition, he informed that the installation of new filtering systems was being completed to reduce the amount of arsenic in the drink.

Faced with this situation, the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco) and the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) carried out visits to Peñafiel plants with the intention of determining if the product in Mexico is healthy for consumers. The results were favorable for Peñafiel. The Profeco indicated that, after making the corresponding tests, they concluded that the Peñafiel mineral water meets the standards stipulated in NOM-201-SSA1-2015 for commercialization.

Thus, on May 1, the Peñafiel factory in Puebla returned to normal operations. The company trusts that what happened will be overcome soon. Currently, on its website you can read the following: ” In Grupo Peñafiel we want to reiterate that our main priority is to provide products of the highest quality to each of our consumers. Therefore, we refer to the subject that has been commented in the media about the levels of arsenic contained in mineral water “ followed by the results of the studies carried out in their production plants.

On the other hand, the federal attorney of the consumer, Ricardo Sheffield, commented that it is probable that this situation has originated due to the particular interests of some of the sponsors of Consumer Reports since the arsenic exists of natural form in the water and in other products. In this sense, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States did not issue any opinion regarding the product of the Peñafiel brand, so, the prosecutor concludes, it is likely that it was derived from a commercial ploy by the party. of the American competitors.

No figures have been revealed regarding the effects that Peñafiel suffered with these incidents, but it must be recognized that the effective and fast management by the directors helped to prevent this crisis from spreading.

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