FSA Consultation Letter, 12 August 2003
On 16 May 2003, Commission Directive 2003/40/EC was published. This Directive established the list, concentration limits and labelling requirements for constituents of natural mineral waters and the conditions for using ozone-enriched air to remove iron, manganese, sulphur and arsenic of both natural mineral waters and spring waters.
Current national legislation, the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water, Bottled Drinking Water Regulations 1999 (as amended), sets limits for nine substances in natural mineral water. It also prohibits the use of any treatment on natural mineral water, except for the treatments referred to in Article 4.1 (a) or (d) of Directive 80/777/EEC as amended by Directive 96/70/EC. The current English legislation does not place any restriction on the treatment of spring water.
The new Directive, which is being transposed into English legislation by the FSA, establishes limits on the levels of sixteen potentially toxic constituents in natural mineral water. These include seven substances that have the same limits as our current national provisions.
The new limit for cyanide is slightly less stringent than our existing national limit (0.070 mg/l instead of 0.050 mg/l) while cadmium has a more stringent limit than our existing national limits (0.003 mg/l instead of 0.005 mg/l). Additionally, the limit for Boron will be set by 1 January 2006.
The Directive also sets limits in natural mineral water for six other substances that have no limit in the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water Regulations 1999 (as amended). The Directive also provides for the labelling requirements for natural mineral water containing fluoride and defines the conditions for using ozone-enriched air for the treatment of natural mineral waters.
Provisions for spring water will also be affected by Directive 2003/40/EC. Where ozonation is used to treat spring water, the provisions relating to the use of ozonation in the treatment of natural mineral water will also apply.
The Draft Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2003, which implement these new requirements coming into force on 31 December 2003, are being published today for consultation. The FSA would welcome comments on this draft Regulations and in particular, on:
Copies of the consultation documents can be downloaded from the FSA web site.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have produced separate amending Draft Regulations. These will be introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland on 31 December 2003, and in mid-March 2004 in Wales