It is no surprise that the article “Health concerns at Poland Spring's Mass. bottling plant” (June 18) points out that Nestle Waters, the company that owns Poland Spring, is experiencing a 500 percent increase in complaints from consumers who have either become sickened by or disgusted by the bacteria in its bottled water.
Despite the marketing, bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, tap water is subject to more stringent regulation than bottled water.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates tap water, while the Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled. Perpetually under-funded and short-staffed, the FDA has a poor record of protecting consumer health and safety; the agency only sends inspectors to bottling plants once every two to three years.
The bottled water industry is a prime example of a corporate sector that is using misleading marketing tactics to sell its products — marketing the “purity” of bottled water, when almost half of it comes from tap water.
The industry’s efforts to paint bottled water as “green” are similarly offensive, as millions of empty bottles end up in landfills and waterways; the transport of bottled water across the country burns through fossil fuels; and, closer to home, Maine’s wells are threatened daily from water mining.
We hope this latest incident will help cut through the industry’s disingenuous marketing campaigns and encourage more consumers to take back the tap for their health and the environment.
Nisha Swinton, Portland
Maine organizer, Food and Water Watch