Jermuk brand mineral water removed from the United States marketplace

Jermuk brand mineral water removed from the United States marketplace

Jermuk mineral waterFood and Drug Administration in the United States of America has issued the following press release:


March 7, 2007
Media Inquiries: Michael Herndon, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-SAFEFOOD
Food and Drug Administration Warns Consumers Not to Drink “Jermuk” Brand Mineral Water
Firms Recall Product


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink certain brands of mineral water imported from Armenia due to the risk of exposure to arsenic, a toxic substance and known cause of cancer in humans. Symptoms of acute arsenic exposure usually occur within several hours of consumption. The most likely effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Over the period of a few days to weeks, the kidneys, liver, skin, and cardiovascular and nervous systems could be affected.  Extended exposure could lead to cancer and death. 


The products were distributed nationwide. The following products are being recalled:


– Zetlian Bakery, Inc., Pico Rivera, CA is recalling product with labels that read: “Jermuk Original Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Fortified With Natural Gas From The Spring”. The product is additionally labeled as ?2006 Jermuk Mayr Gortsaran CJSC? and “Imported by: Zetlian Bakery Inc.”


– Importers Direct Wholesale Company Los Angeles, CA is recalling the product with labels that read: “Jermuk Sodium Calcium Bicarbonate and Sulphate Mineral Water”. The product is additionally labeled as “Bottled by ARPI Plant, Republic of Armenia” and “Exclusive US importer and distributor: Importers Direct Wholesale Co., Los Angeles, CA”.


– Kradjian Importing Company, Glendale, CA is recalling the product with labels that read: “Jermuk, Natural Mineral Water Sparkling”. The product is additionally labeled as “Bottled by Jermuk Group CJSC” and “Sale Agent Kradjian Importing Co. Inc.” in Glendale, CA


FDA sampled 500 milliliter (mL) green glass bottles and detected the problem. FDA is investigating whether other sizes or packaging are involved.


FDA testing of this water revealed 500 ? 600 micrograms of arsenic per liter. FDA?s standard of quality bottled water allows no more than 10 micrograms per liter.


There have been no illnesses reported at this time. Consumers who drank this water and have concerns are encouraged to contact their health care provider. 


FDA will continue working to remove all such bottled water products from the marketplace. FDA may provide additional updates as more information becomes available.


Click here for the Press Release of the FDA in PDF format



Vic Kradjian, co-owner of the water's Glendale-based importer, said Jermuk is a popular brand in Armenia and is bottled at a town of the same name known for its natural hot springs. It has been sold in the United States for about five years. Bottler Jermuk Group is aware of the problem and is working to reduce the minerals to acceptable levels, he said.


Source: LA Daily News, report by Eugene Tong, 08 March 2007

Edgar Ghazaryan, adviser to the president of “Jermuk” Group, claims they have been exporting mineral water to the U.S. market since 2000 and haven't countered any problems so far. He says “Jermuk” Group has received no written notification by the U.S. officials.


“Arsenic exists in all mineral waters produced in Armenia and it provides the curing quality of the water. We haven't exceeded the permissible bounds”, states Edgar Ghazaryan.


Source: A1 plus, 09 March 2007