Coca-Cola pulls Dasani launch in Europe

Coca-Cola Co. is postponing the launch of Dasani bottled water in continental Europe a week after it withdrew the water from the U.K.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO)is postponing the introduction of its controversial Dasani bottled water in France and Germany and shelving the relaunch of Dasani in the U.K.

The move comes one week after it recalled in Britain 500,000 bottles of Dasani over health concerns. Dasani in the U.K. was found to contain illegal levels of bromate, a chemical that could increase the risk of cancer.

Dasani, launched in January in the U.K. at a budgeted cost of 7 million pounds, is tap water, bottled after purification, a process not unusual in the bottled water industry. The bromate is thought to have been introduced accidentally in the process of adding minerals to the water.

The world's largest drinks group said Wednesday it was delaying the launches in France and Germany even though "this is an isolated and resolved incident in Great Britain."

The company added that "it has been decided not to reintroduce Dasani into Great Britain at this time."

Coca-Cola shares closed the day up 34 cents to $48.47 in New York.

Coca-Cola, which said it would launch Dasani in France and Germany at some point, insisted it remained "confident of Dasani as a brand proposition." Dasani's launch in Europe was an important part of Coca-Cola's plan to challenge Nestle and Danone, which dominate the global bottled water market.

Coca-Cola sells more than twenty brands of bottled waters in 100 countries.

In 2002, it emerged that Dasani water in Canada was processed Calgary tap water.