Switzerland bans Turkish mineral water Beypazarı due to excessive boron content

Swiss authorities banned a batch of Beypazarı mineral water due to elevated boron levels, potentially posing health risks. However, these boron contents are nothing to worry about, according to the Beypazarı company, stating that people take higher doses for health-related purposes.

Duvar English

Switzerland banned a batch of Beypazarı mineral water after detecting high boron levels, which pose potential health risks, such as affecting fetal development and fertility, the Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs announced on April 15.

The alarming levels of boron were found during an official inspection and concerned lot number 14/12/23 14/02/25 .0940 4, produced by the Beypazarı Karakoca company.

The affected product has been removed from the market and was advised not to be consumed.

In a statement following the withdrawal, the Beypazarı Karakoca company questioned Switzerland’s rationale, remarking that boron mineral supplements with higher content are consumed for health benefits.

"The amount of boron mineral in Beypazarı mineral waters was found to be ‘2’ when the maximum value should be ‘1’," an official of the mineral water company said.

"There are supplements with 3mg boron in each capsule to prevent osteolysis. Moreover, while Switzerland determines a ratio of 1 to 2 as dangerous, the legal amount in the EU is 1 to 5," the official said, noting that they have been exporting products to Switzerland for seven years.

Furthermore, the official highlighted the fluctuating mineral values of underground spring waters due to varying rainfalls, stating that their exported mineral waters measured in 2022 had a boron content of 0.33 while those in 2023 had a value of 1.

Turkey’s mineral water has faced scrutiny before. In 2019, supermarket chain Migros detected high arsenic levels in mineral water from the Turkish Red Crescent’s (“Kızılay”) factory in Afyon province.

(English version by Wouter Massink)