Does the phrase “purity guaranteed” mislead you while purchasing packaged drinking water?
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) believes it does. The bureau has even moved the Supreme Court to restrain Pepsico from using the phrase on its packaged water under the brand, Aquafina.
BIS has challenged a Delhi High Court verdict that allows the multinational to print “purity guaranteed” on its packaged water bottles. Water is not a single homogenous unit like petrol or oil and cannot be termed as pure, BIS has argued in its appeal against High Court judgment, permitting use of the “objectionable expression”.
BIS’s appeal states that pure water would only be distilled water used in batteries, which is not fit for human consumption. Hence, the use of words such as “pure” and “purity guaranteed” on packaged drinking water is a misnomer.
Water sold in packaged form, says BIS, is derived from any source of potable water and is later subjected to treatments, such as decantation, filtration, aeration and other methods to meet the prescribed standards.
“It may be disinfected by means of chemical agents or physical methods to reduce the micro-organisms to a level that would not lead to contamination in the drinking water, but a level that does not compromise food safety or suitability,” reads the BIS appeal.
It adds the multinational organizations in trade or commerce are duty bound to take precautions and safeguards to promote and protect the rights of human beings, including their health and safety.
“Restrictions on the use of trade marks to achieve the said objectives is fair and reasonable,” says BIS.