Skip to content

Barlow opposes Nestle operations in Sao Lourenco, Brazil

Yesterday, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow tweeted:

Nestle Waters markets bottled water from the Parque das Águas da Cidade de São Lourenço (the Water Park of the City of City of São Lourenço) in Brazil.

A petition in Portuguese notes, “The [taking of 53,000 litres of water per hour] is not adequately supported by any technical/ scientific study that ensures the preservation, as required by the laws of gaseous mineral waters and this medical office. …The other waters have been changing in its chemical composition and losing the taste and many sources already with very little flow. The continuation of this exploration will bring irreversible damage to the Parque das Águas and our city that lives mainly from tourism and therefore the citizens who live in it, live it, and in it their hopes of an adequate quality of life.”

Corporate Watch further explains that, “The Serra da Mantiqueira region of Brazil is famous for its Circuito das Aguas, or “water circuits”, with high mineral content and medicinal properties. Four small towns, São Lourenço, Caxambu, Cambuquira, and Lambari, were built up around these water circuits in the 19th century. But now the mineral content of the water is being reduced by over-pumping by Nestle/Perrier for its Pure Life brand. …Residents discovered that Nestlé/Perrier was pumping huge amounts of water in the park from a well 150 meters deep. The water was then demineralized and transformed into Pure Life table water. …The Brazilian constitution does not allow mineral water to be demineralized….” 

In 2001, charges were brought against Nestle because of this violation. “Although Nestlé lost the legal action, pumping continues as it gets through the appeal procedures, a legal process which could take ten years.” And BBC notes, “The company has stopped demineralising water [but] Nestle is permitted to continue pumping and extract carbon dioxide from the water.”

Tweeted by Maude Barlow:

Further reading
http://www.suisse.attac.org/spip.php?page=impression&id_article=1583 (in French)
http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/jpc/nestlebrazil.html (in French)
http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/SCHWARMJ/ (in English)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/facethefacts/transcript_20050722.shtml (in English)
http://www.swissinfo.ch/por/arquivo/A_Nestle_e_um_James_Bond_brasileiro.html?cid=890852 (in Portuguese)
http://www.woz.ch/0644/nestle/der-drachentoeter-wird-ehrenbuerger (in German)
http://www.kath.ch/index.php?PHPSESSID=2jd5rbj7dm4tj7hqiijt1p2oi1&na=12,0,256,0,d,38509 (in German)