New labeling urged for bottled water
Consumers know less about the water they pay for in bottles than what they can drink almost for free from the tap because the two are regulated differently, congressional investigators and researchers say in new reports.
Both the Government Accountability Office and the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, recommend in reports released yesterday that bottled water be labeled with the same level of information municipal water providers must disclose.
The researchers urged Americans to make bottled water “a distant second choice’’ to filtered tap water because there isn’t enough information about bottled water.
Both reports were released at a congressional subcommittee meeting yesterday.
Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and required to show nutrition information and ingredients on its labels. Municipal water is under the control of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The agencies have similar standards for water quality, but the FDA has less authority to enforce them, the GAO said, and the environmental agency requires much more testing.