BOTTLED WATER: Lies And Propaganda


GOOD: Tappening, the tap-water campaigners, has taken its gloves off and is fighting the bottled-water business the dirty way. Using the old beat-them-at-their-own-game approach, Tappening’s new Start a Lie campaign takes on truth in advertising by allowing you to create your own viral lie about bottled water. Because, as they say, “If bottled water companies can lie, we can too.” MORE

RELATED: There is so much wrong with bottled water that it’s hard to know where to begin (read Elizabeth bottledwatergrowth_2005.gifRoyte’s Bottlemania, for starters). But let’s start with the fact that bottled water is the most brilliantly marketed product ever invented. The companies get it practically free out of a tap and charge you a dollar or more — sometimes a lot more — for a quart or less). The plastic bottles pollute the environment. Worst of all, drinking bottled water makes people less apt to be vigilant about protecting public water supplies. And it isn’t even regulated very well, or so says a report from the Government Accountability Office. The title says it all: “Bottled water: FDA safety and consumer protections are often less stringent than comparable EPA protections for tap water.” MORE

RELATED: Did you know that some of the most popular bottled water is just tap water put into bottles? (They filter it first, but still.) Pepsi and Nestle both disclose that Aquafina and Pure Life come from “public water sources,” which isn’t totally clear, but which is better than Coke, which wont say where they get the water to make Dasani, even though we all know it’s just tap water. MORE

bottledwater1.jpgMORE:  I am standing at one of the sources of Dasani water, the nation’s second most popular brand. Though I can’t see it, I know that somewhere beneath my feet runs the water that will eventually end up in those refreshing blue Dasani bottles. As I look around, I can see green bushes, a patch of grass, some lovely red and white flowers…And Coke banners. Lots and lots of Coke banners. Of course, when you’re standing outside the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company, on Erie Avenue in gritty north Philadelphia, that’s probably not such a surprise. Dasani, you see, is a Coca-Cola product, and the source isn’t anything as exotic as an iceberg or even an underground spring: It’s Philadelphia tap water. MORE

RELATED: Dasani of Coca-Cola is selling Philadelphia tap water that has been purified. The Natural Resources Defense Council found that about 22% of  brands tested contained contaminants ABOVE state health limits. MORE

RELATED: It’s always disconcerting when the local news tells you to boil your tap water before drinking it, especially if you consider that we’ve been experimenting with water filtration since 1627. But what if you found out—and you’re about to—that there could be industrial pollutants, pesticides, and hormones floating in your tap water right now? There are federal laws that limit certain contaminants, but many toxins don’t make those blacklists at all. While your water probably isn’t making you sick, here is a guide to some potential offenders and how to keep them out of your cup. MORE

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