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Reporting and commentary from OnEarth editors and correspondents
The more publicity the better. Bottled water is not always better than tap! Tap water can be perfect! Use a home water filter!
The testing frequency for bottled water and tap may not be exactly the same, but FDA’s bottled water testing requirements, by law, to be as protective of the public health as EPA’s testing requirements for tap water. Moreover, based on the FDA and EPA mandatory minimum testing requirements, bottled water on average is required to be tested, on a gallon for gallon basis, up to 30 times more frequently that tap water. Bottled water’s popularity with consumers for everyday personal hydration and its leading role in emergency preparedness gives it an important place in society. Given the high rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity in the United States, any efforts to discourage consumers from drinking water – either bottled water or tap – are not in the public interest. Bottled water use and tap water use are not mutually exclusive. In fact, 75% of bottled water drinkers also consume tap water. Perhaps there’s a way we can work together to ensure both forms of water delivery satisfy consumer demands for safe, health sources of hydration. You stated your belief that current FDA inspections for bottled water do not occur frequently enough. As you know, FDA inspections apply to all packaged foods and beverages. FDA prioritizes its inspections based upon risk, and bottled water has been determined to be a low risk product from a food safety standpoint. In fact, according to a 2009 Government Accounting Office (GAO) report (p. 45, state Health Department survey), there has not been a single reported illness from bottled water in the past five years. In contrast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated there are between 4.2 million and 16.4 million acute gastrointestinal illnesses each year caused by tap water consumption: “National Estimate of Waterborne Disease associated with Public Drinking Water” http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/statistics/surveillance/national_estimate_waterborne_disease.html Thus, there is a factual basis for a differential in the frequency of governmental oversight. It is also worth noting the important role that states play in augmenting FDA’s inspectional presence.
Tom from IBLWA: What exactly is your objection to governments spending less money on bottled water, and using money to improve tap water infrastructure? After all, bottled water companies need clean, safe tap water too-- because so many of them are bottling it and selling it back to us in plastic. I want my tax dollars to go towards clean safe drinking water that is available to all. Not bottled water.
i think the issue here should not be the water, but plastic bottles that the water comes in. If bottled water companies want to preserve their industry they have to come up with a better packaging. I recycle and what??? how many of those bottles are actually used to make a new bottles if any??? where is that data??? we are already killing the planet for our own comfort, how far will we go. don't let your laziness guide you. filter your water or boil it. AND PUT IT INTO SPORTS BOTTLE. USE YOUR BRAIN.
Completely agree with you! If it's ok with you, I would love to share this with my readers. (a link back would be provided of course) Please let me know if this is ok. Cheers to tap water!
Inspired Water -- certainly, feel free to cross-post with a link back to onearth.
While I agree there are eco concerns with bottled water I am also concerned about fluoride added to and Rx drugs showing up in tap water. Do you have any info on water put through reverse osmosis?