Yesterday, the bottled water industry faced a Congressional hearing that, primarily, suggested that bottled water companies provide stricter labeling on their products.
What came out of the hearing was a barrage of misinformation about bottled water, providing the nightly news with a bunch of scary
Listen to whatever you please, but know this: everything about bottled water is safe. From packaging to the product. Bottled water is convenient to have around, and is an alternative – not necessarily a substitute – to tap water. Tap water, in most cases, is also safe and perfect for drinking. There is no debate.
In his column today, Dana Milbank digs a little deeper than what Congressman Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the House commerce subcommittee that held yesterday’s hearing, had to say on the issue:
This much is clear, crisp and refreshing: Bottled water has not killed anybody, and it’s not even clear that it has made anybody sick. And, as the committee learned, it is already regulated more strictly than other foods.
It soon emerged from the witnesses that there was no evidence bottled water is any dirtier than tap water — and in some cases, such as lead, the bottled water standards are more stringent. The main difference is one of disclosure: Municipal water, regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, has to make public its test results; bottled water, regulated by the FDA, does not.
With his commentary, Milbank correctly points out that consumers should not be afraid of what’s inside their water bottle. He cites many legislators referring to the bottled water issue as a “secondary” debate – or one that shouldn’t even be on the radar.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) joined in the complaint that “today’s hearing doesn’t rank on the top of the list” of serious issues. “It shows when you look on your side how much support there is,” Barton said, beckoning to the Democrats’ seats, empty except for Stupak’s.
Common sense: It’s a good thing to use.