Green Spin and Bottled Water

Americans are well aware of the power of political “spin” during election years. But political spin is nothing compared to “green spin,” perpetrated by environmental activists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They issued a report with data showing that bottled water is a safe option for consumers, but the group’s hype suggests the opposite.

The EWG-produced data demonstrate only trace levels of certain chemicals, all of which fall below very stringent levels that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration have found  safe.  Environmentalists, basically condemn the water by demanding absolute purity, something that simply does not exist in the physical world. The real issue should be whether our food and water pose more than negligible risks. This study shows that bottled water risks are below negligible.  CEI research on the topic shows further that bottled water is recommended by both EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a safe alternative to tap for those with compromised immune systems. Moreover, CDC surveillance data show that tap water suffers from more disease outbreaks than does bottled water.

Bottled water provides consumers with a healthy, convenient, and portable beverage option. Despite activist claims that bottled water is nothing but bottled tap water, about 75 percent of the water comes from springs and underground water sources. Only about 25 percent comes from municipal systems, much of which undergoes additional purification. Consumers can read the bottle label or call companies if they want to learn about the water source. If the bottle is unclear, they can simply pick another. I am hard pressed to find a bottle on the a store shelf without such information, contrary to claims made by the EWG.

Environmental activists have been using such spin to promote taxes and regulation on the bottled water industry, undermining consumer choice and access to a healthy beverage option. Unfortunately, misguided lawmakers are implementing taxes and bans on water.