Although Ozarka Spring Water hasn’t been proven to be bad for you, Nestle isn’t transparent about what goes into testing it. Moreover, the FDA devotes few resources to testing bottled water for safety.
There are two kinds of Ozarka Water on the market. One, Ozarka Drinking Water, is headquartered in Oklahoma City and distributed mostly through the South. The other, Ozarka Spring Water, is owned by Nestle - a multinational Swiss company that owns a number of bottled water brands. They are, in fact, the largest distributor of bottled water in the world.
Nestle has taken a controversial stance on water - namely, that water is not a human right. Their CEO drew criticism in 2015 by saying as much. Pushback was particularly strong in California, where a six-year drought has brought snowpack to record lows and where Nestle still bottles much of their water. Nestle's controversial stance, however, goes back further than the California drought; they pushed for water to be reclassified as a need rather than a right at the second water forum in 2000. Moreover, they've been accused of pumping in California's San Bernardino Forest without a permit and committing similar abuses as far abroad as Pakistan.
None of this has a bearing on whether Ozarka Spring Water itself is bad for you. If you place a high priority on ethical consumption, however, you may want to steer away from water bottled and sold by Nestle.
Is It Bad For You has a separate post dealing with the controversies around bottled water. The evidence that water bottles leach dangerous chemicals into their water with heat or re-use is relatively spotty. One downside of bottled water, however, is that many water bottles - even those that are recyclable - end up in landfills. If you're drinking bottled water like Ozarka, remember to recycle your bottles.
The Environmental Working Group is an advocacy group that covers the relative quality and transparency of different bottled water brands. They put out a scorecard in 2011 that gave Ozarka Spring Water relatively low marks. Chief amongst their complaints was that Nestle does not list treatment methods or contact information for securing a water quality report.
But - aside from issues of transparency - how pure is Ozarka Water? It's hard to say. The FDA has safety standards for water that's sold outside of the state that it's bottled in. Water bottled and sold within the same state, however, isn't subject to FDA oversight. Moreover, the FDA allocated relatively few resources to regulating water, so inspections might happen too infrequently to detect potential contaminants or impurities.
Is bottled water like Ozarka Spring Water safer than tap water? Your mileage may vary on that count, too. Some studies have shown no significant difference in the quality of tap water and bottled water. It depends, however, on the quality of tap water where you live; you're much better off in a city like Des Moines, Iowa than you are drinking from the contaminated aquifers of Riverside, California or Flint, Michigan. Take the time to research your local tap water and use a filter if you find that the quality is on the lower end.
Trusted water brands (what is this?)
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View Sources | Written by Sean McNulty | 11-02-2016
Written by Sean McNulty
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