For Immediate Release
Kate Fried or Rich McIntyre, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-2500
U.S Government Agencies Should Consider Taking Back the Tap
Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
WASHINGTON - "Last week, Naturally Iowa, Inc, a distributor of
bottled spring water and dairy products, announced that the U.S. Department of
Agriculture had chosen to carry its Green Bottle Spring Water products in all
of its food service locations. According to the company, Green Bottle Spring
Water ‘meets specifications for quality and environmental sustainability'
because its bottle is made from corn, rather than oil.
"The fact is no brand of bottled water, no matter how it may be
packaged, is actually environmentally sustainable. That is because water
bottlers harm the environment by depleting aquifers and other groundwater
sources. From California to Maine and Michigan to Florida, local citizen
organizations are organizing to stop bottled water companies from removing
millions of gallons of water from their local ecosystem. The very act of
transporting water long distances uses large amounts of fossil fuel and has an
adverse impact on the air and water.
"Moreover, growing corn has many environmental consequences. Not
only is it a very thirsty crop that is dependent on irrigation and depletes
groundwater, its growth requires heavy doses of fertilizers and herbicides. The
majority of the corn produced in the U.S. is genetically modified, a method of
agriculture that is not considered environmentally sustainable.
"USDA should look at the big picture
regarding bottled water. In most locations, tap water is safer than bottled
water because EPA requires municipalities to test their water hundreds of times
a month. Meanwhile the FDA, which regulates bottled water, only requires that
companies test four empty bottles once every three months for bacteria. They
are not required to test after bottling or storage.
"Tap water is safe to drink in
virtually all communities and if the USDA is concerned about water quality in
some locations, the best option is to provide filtered water that can be put in
refillable bottles. The truth is, the only truly sustainable water is the kind
that requires no packaging or shipping at all and that's tap water."
Food & Water Watch is a national consumer advocacy organization
based in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org.
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