I learned recently that tap water is more regulated than bottled water. I had never thought twice about reaching for a plastic bottle, and always tried to make sure the plastic bottle ended up in the recycling bin.
It turns out there may be reason to be concerned about the bottled water industry. Members of Congress, at any rate, have questions.
An Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigation of almost 200 popular bottled water brands found less than 2 percent disclose the water’s source, how the water has been purified and what chemical pollutants each bottle of water may contain. Just 2 of the 188 individual brands EWG analyzed disclosed those three basic facts about their water.
Full report found here: http://www.ewg.org/health/report/bottledwater-scorecard
Jane Houlihan, EWG Senior Vice President for Research, discussed the findings of the 18-month long study in testimony today before a congressional oversight hearing on the gaps in government regulation of the bottled water industry.
Some of the more interesting discoveries were that mainstream brands such as Sam’s Club and Walgreen’s scored relatively high marks, while waters marketed as elite, including Perrier, S. Pellegrino and the Whole Foods store brand, flunked because they provided almost no meaningful information for consumers.
Why the glaring lack of disclosure? Houlihan said that bottled water companies enjoy a regulatory holiday under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which give beverage corporations complete latitude to choose what, if any, information about their water they divulge to customers. [emphasis added]
Beverage corporations get to choose what, if ny, information about their water they divulge to customers?
This sentence stood out on the EWG Web site:
None of the top 10 U.S. domestic bottled water brands label specific water sources and treatment methods for all their products.
My solution? Drop the bottle and fill up a glass at the sink.