Friday, October 17, 2008

Government regulation as comforting illusion...

So your bottle water meets Federal safety standards?

Here's what that means, says the AP:

Tests on bottled water turned up a variety of contaminants often found in tap water, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group.

The findings challenge the idea that bottled water is purer than tap water, the researchers said. All the brands in the study met federal health standards, but two violated a California standard, said the Washington-based Environmental Working Group.

The study's lab tests on the 10 brands detected bacteria and 38 chemicals including caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic ingredients and the radioactive element strontium.

The International Bottled Water Assn. called the findings "alarmist."

Please note two important, but fairly subtle points about this story:

1) It was a private environmental advocacy group, not the Federal government, that blew the whistle. [But we need the government to take care of us....]

2) The International Bottled Water Association is a major sponsor of ... the Presidential Debates. [Which of course this industry lobbying group does purely out of a sense of public spirit....]

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