After receiving a letter from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra has collected six packaged drinking water samples from across the city.
While the FDA had started collecting samples in October 2017, as per a letter sent by the FDA joint commissioner (Food) to FSSAI, they have collected six samples of packaged drinking water of different brands in the city.
The FDA letter reads, “The samples were sent for analysis to State Public Health Lab, Pune. However, the test facility for bromate was not available in the lab, therefore, the samples were sent to another lab in Jogeshwari (east). While the lab has tested these samples for bromate and the analysis report of these samples are sent to Pune lab. FDA is yet to receive these analysis reports. As soon as the reports are received, further action in the matter will be taken as per the Act.”
In 2017, a social activist from Mumbai filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into the matter of packaged drinking water containing harmful substances such as bromate. The letter was then forwarded from NHRC to FSSAI and later the FSSAI authority had asked FDA to conduct further investigation.
Researchers at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 2015 found out that there is the presence of carcinogen (cancer-causing) bromate in packaged drinking water available in Mumbai. Based on this report, a complaint was filed on July 7, 2017, to the NHRC by the activist.