REPORT FROM THE HAWAII HEALTH DEPARTMENT – The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has agreed to settle its enforcement action against Koyo USA Corporation (Koyo) filed in September 2011. Koyo has agreed to pay the department a total of $2 million in two installments. The first $1 million payment was received by DOH on May 2, 2011. The second and final payment is due to the department no later than August 31, 2013.
DOH issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Koyo for utilizing an unapproved manufacturing process for its bottled water from July 7, 2006 to May 19, 2011. Koyo is required to adhere to a specific process in making bottled water from the ocean. Koyo’s product is branded as Mahalo Hawai‘i Deep Sea and has been marketed to consumers in Japan, Hawai‘i and elsewhere.
No recall or embargo of the Koyo bottled water product was initiated by DOH. Test results from independent laboratories and the state laboratory confirmed that consumption of the affected bottled water product did not pose an immediate and/or substantial risk to human health. Koyo performed a disinfection process prior to their water product being sold.
“The Koyo company staff and leadership have been cooperative in correcting the unpermitted drinking water filtration process,” said Gary Gill, Deputy Director for Environmental Health. “The settlement payments are being dedicated to support the department’s drinking water, food safety and laboratory programs.”
Koyo remains permitted by the DOH to filter ocean water at its Kona facility and produce a bottled drinking water product.
The DOH Food and Drug Branch protects public health by ensuring food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices and related consumer products within the state are safe, effective and properly labeled. The DOH Safe Drinking Water Branch monitors drinking water quality and regulates water systems throughout the islands. The state laboratory tests water and food for contamination and performs a wide range of public health support functions. These programs and others within the department work together to ensure the health and safety of the people of Hawai‘i.