As more and more people wake up to the dangers of fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, and the many other toxic compounds found in municipal water supplies, the market for bottled water has exploded. But in the process, some major food and beverage corporations have unwittingly begun peddling that very same tap water in bottles as "pure," a deceptive labeling term that is the subject of a new trade controversy in Europe.
According to a recent report by Occupy Monsanto, the Dasani water brand, which is owned by beverage giant Coca-Cola, is one such bottled water counterfeit, if you will, that contains purified tap water dressed in fancy-looking bottles. Like many other bottled water brands, Dasani is sold at a premium price, and many people perceive it to be superior to tap water, even though it actually is just tap water.
Even though the majority of the impurities have admittedly been removed from Dasani water, and minerals added back in, many people do not realize that the water contained in Dasani bottles is not actually from a natural spring. If you read closely the labels found on water bottles, it usually spells out the source where the water inside was derived. But this information is often overlooked by consumers who believe they are buying something superior.
"Figures from independent beverage research company Canadean show that at least two out of every five bottles of water sold around the world are, like Dasani, 'purified' waters, rather than 'source' waters which originate from a spring," explains Trevor Datson in an Occupy Monsanto piece. "Most of the supermarket own-label bottled waters consist of treated mains water. In short, they are subjected to many of the same treatments that source waters undergo to satisfy public health requirements after being pumped up from the ground."
The significance of this is that water specifically derived from a natural spring actually is superior to the water supplied by the local tap, at least in most cases. Many people who buy bottled water assume their water comes from a spring, because this is how the bottled water industry got its start. But today, brands like Dasani, Aquafina, and Sparkletts have captured significant market share by engaging in what some would called deceptive advertising.
Back in 2007, PepsiCo Inc., which owns the Aquafina "purified" water brand, announced it would begin printing the words "Public Water Source" on its labels to ensure that customers knew where Aquafina water actually came from. The move came in response to several nationwide campaigns launched at that time to combat deception in bottled water labeling.
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