NORTHBROOK, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced today a new certification program for bottled water. This new program enables consumers of bottled water to choose brands that have been validated by UL to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) requirements for quality and safety. This Mark will also enable producers of bottled water to differentiate and more effectively communicate their commitment to the quality and safety of their product.
“The introduction of this new Mark for bottled water is a natural extension of UL‘s commitment to public safety,“ said Jeff Smith, general manager, UL Global Water Business. “Consumers can feel confident that when they see the UL Certified Water Quality Mark on bottled water, that the global leader in product safety certification, with more than 100 years of service, has independently tested the safety and quality of the water.“
The announcement of the new Certified Water Quality Mark demonstrates UL‘s continuing commitment and leadership in water quality. In the summer of 2007, UL commissioned a blind market research study to quantify the value of the UL Mark among U.S. consumers of bottled water. The study found that in every tested scenario there was significant consumer preference for bottled water brands that carry the UL Mark, and that many consumers would switch brands or pay more to get the benefits of the UL Mark.
“High consumer preference toward the UL Mark demonstrates the public‘s desire for independent verification that bottled water meets all federal regulations for quality and safety,“ said Ann Marie Gebhart, UL Water Program director. “The UL Mark is one of the most widely recognized and trusted safety symbols in the world. Bottled water manufacturers who partner with UL can now very effectively communicate their commitment to the quality and safety of their products.“
The new UL Certified Water Quality Mark will first be available for bottled water products intended for distribution in the United States. Consumers can be assured that bottled water bearing the Mark is produced at plants audited by UL, and those audits are inclusive of the IBWA, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements. To date, UL has analyzed more than 1.5 million water samples for thousand of bottlers, public water supplies, engineering firms, consultants, and state and federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. military. UL‘s water laboratory is certified in 48 states and Puerto Rico, making it the most certified laboratory for bottled water analysis.
The introduction of the new Certified Water Quality Mark for bottled water is the latest in a series of milestones for UL‘s Water Program. UL‘s drinking water analytical laboratory in South Bend, Ind., has more than 20 years of experience analyzing bottled water in accordance with FDA standards. Highly active in water safety and quality, UL staff has served on the Technical and Government Relations committees for the IBWA and continues to make presentations to the water industry. In 2007, UL was awarded the IBWA Plant Inspection Contract, allowing UL to conduct unannounced annual third-party audits of bottled water plants for IBWA members and candidate members.
UL‘s water quality certification program is fully accredited in the United States and Canada. UL is a recognized certifier of water products and water testing by the EPA and is an active participant on numerous national standards committees and industry task groups.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually, with 21 billion UL Marks appearing on 71,000 manufacturers‘ products each year. UL‘s worldwide family of companies and network of service providers include 66 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 104 countries. For more information, visit www.ul.com.