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Arsenic found in Peñafiel water bottles sold at Walmart, Target prompts withdrawal

Keurig Dr Pepper, which owns Peñafiel, is voluntarily withdrawing all bottles of unflavored Peñafiel mineral spring water.

Outside of a Walmart in Presidential Towers
Walmart at Presidential Towers. Peñafiel is sold at Walmarts.
Photo courtesy: Walmart

Keurig Dr Pepper, the company that manufactures Peñafiel water bottles, is voluntarily pulling its bottles after tests found arsenic levels in the product that violate state and federal guidelines.

The original report, issued by the Center for Environmental Health, called for the companies to remove the “toxic chemical” from their bottles and urged retailers to stop selling them.

All bottles of unflavored Peñafiel mineral spring water are included in what Keurig Dr Pepper called a “voluntary withdrawal” in a statement Friday. Peñafiel is currently sold at Target, Walmart and other vendors.

The FDA defines a market withdrawal differently than a recall.

“A market withdrawal is the ‘removal or correction of a distributed product which involves a minor violation that would not be subject to legal action by the FDA,” according to the agency’s website.

Consuming arsenic at much higher levels than what was found in Peñafiel’s products has been associated with many chronic diseases, a statement from Keurig Dr Pepper says. However, independent lab tests did detect arsenic in Peñafiel “at levels that exceeded the FDA’s bottled water standards for mineral water.”

The announcement comes after a temporary halt of production from the brand in April.

“Keurig Dr Pepper has recently installed enhanced filtration systems at its facilities that produce Peñafiel, and the product now being produced is well within regulatory guidelines,” the statement said, noting no other Keurig Dr Pepper products are impacted.

Starkey, another brand that was called out for the levels of arsenic in the Center for Environmental Health report, complies with FDA standards for heavy metals, a Whole Foods spokesperson told USA TODAY. Whole Foods owns Starke.

Consumers can bring bottles of Peñafiel to retailers for a full refund. For questions, contact the Keurig Dr Pepper Consumer Care hotline at 800-696-5891 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Contributing: Kelly Tyko