195945 Battle over bottled water

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:30 AM

Jessica Berg, JD, MPH , Schools of Law and Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
The battle over bottled water has begun. Environmental groups are claiming that: bottled water fails purity standards posing health risks, manufacturing and shipping of bottled water causes pollution, plastic bottles create an environmental hazard, and the extraction of water for bottling alters the availability of natural water resources. The International Bottled Water Association and American Beverage Association are fighting back, insisting that bottled water: is at less risk for contamination than tap water, can be a crucial resource in disaster situations such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or in international settings where clean water is not available, is more likely to be used in place of carbonated soft-drinks and thus helps combat obesity, and is a matter of free consumer choice. Some cities have banned bottled water from events, states are considering anti-bottled water legislation, and Canada is contemplating removing all bottled water from school vending machines. With more than 9 billion gallons of bottled water consumed in the United States last year and the amount growing by almost 10% annually, this issue cannot be ignored. Is bottled water a threat or a solution? Is it the ultimate sign of the commercialization of our society, or a valuable public health resource? Few people understand how bottled water is regulated and the public health issues raised by its growing use. This presentation will explain the FDA regulation of bottled water, and identify the various positions taken by interest groups on both sides of the bottled water debate.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the FDA regulation of bottled water. Discuss arguments for and against the use of bottled water.

Keywords: FDA, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Professor of law, bioethics and public health. I teach FDA law.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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