U.S. Water News Online
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Bottled-water companies would have to
put out water q uality reports similar to those public water agencies
produce under California legislation that took a step toward passage.
The bill would make California's bottled-water quality standards
among the strongest in the nation, requiring bottlers to include
greater detail on product labels. Currently, if consumers want to
know if trace amounts of contaminants have been found in the bottled
water, they have to call the company.
``You look at the label and you see the word 'pure' or 'crystal'
... and you think this water has to be good,'' said Jennifer Clary of
Clean Water Action, a national consumer group. ``That's the
perception that's making bottled water the fastest-growing section of
the beverage market.''
About 70 percent of California residents drink bottled water
regularly because they believe it's cleaner and safer than tap water,
but that's not always true, said Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett.
``We already know that what comes from the tap at home is safe,''
Corbett said. ``Consumers deserve no less from other drinking
The bill was approved, 4-1, by the Assembly Environmental Safety
and Toxic Materials Committee on Tuesday. It now moves to the
Appropriations Committee, the last stop before reaching the full
The bill would give the Department of Health Services the same
authority to inspect bottled-water facilities that it has to inspect
public water systems. The companies would be charged a fee for the
Bottled-water companies say the new regulations are unnecessary
and costly. Stephen Kay, spokesman for the International Bottled
Water Association, said the industry already meets the same standards
under the state's food laws.
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