Newspapers reported on October 28, 2006 that a door-to-door sales company (Sunrise Corporation) had been found to be performing coercive sales tactics, long-term coercive sales pitches to the degree of false inspection sales, etc. in violation of the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions, and as a result had had part of its business activities suspended by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). This was also broadcast nationwide on October 30, 2006 on a Nippon Television Network program.
It was reported that one of the products handled by the sales company was an alkaline ionized water apparatus. This was seen with great regret by the Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus which has set up its own standards based on the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law and works to increase awareness of these standards, and the Functional Water Foundation (under the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) which is in close contact with the association and which strives to disseminate accurate knowledge regarding alkaline ionized water and alkaline ionized water apparatus.
Since its establishment in 1992, the Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus has been requested by the Ministry of Health (at that time) to be involved in up-to-date scientific verification of the functional effectiveness and safety of alkaline ionized water, and has consigned strict comparative clinical testing (including double-blind tests) as well as fundamental research to the Alkaline Ionizer Review Committee composed of third-party specialists, which has verified the safety of alkaline ionized water and its effects in improving gastrointestinal conditions.
In addition, the Ethics Committee, Scientific Committee, and Public Relations Committee were also established to increase the public trust toward the products and the industry, and all members have worked together to promote and nurture the health of the industry.
The Ethics Committee has established ethical standards regarding the sales of the associated products as medical devices to ensure compliance with related regulations including the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law and the Code on Appropriate Advertising Practices, Product Labeling Law, and laws related to door-to-door sales, and has continually promoted improvement of the system by ensuring thorough understanding by member companies as well as conducting inspection monitoring of the sales methods and advertising contents of each member company.
In addition, the Scientific Committee and Public Relations Committee have been promoting activities in collaboration with the Functional Water Foundation to seek scientific proof regarding alkaline ionized water in order to disseminate accurate knowledge and increase the level of scientific research and information regarding alkaline ionized water apparatus, and have been working to publicize the effectiveness of alkaline ionized water based on approval and certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
The company which was the subject of media reports this time was not a member of the Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus, but as an association we take the effects on the public trust toward the entire industry very seriously and will thoroughly promote appropriate sales activities by related companies as well in compliance with ethical standards through documentation of such standards, etc. to ensure that similar circumstances do not happen in the future.
The Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus and the Functional Water Foundation will work in cooperation to strive to increase public trust. We hope for your understanding.