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Few bottled-water recalls being made public

The Globe and Mail reports today that, “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency often finds problems with bottled water, but doesn’t tell the public about them.”

The article highlights that, “Canada’s federal food watchdog issued 29 recall notices for bottled water products between 2000 and early 2008, citing deficiencies such as contamination by bacteria, moulds, glass chips and trace amounts of arsenic. Of the recalls, affecting 49 different products, it issued a public warning in only seven cases, two of which came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made public its recall orders.”

“Although bottled water has an image as being clean and pristine, the CFIA’s list of 29 recalls indicates most of the products yanked from the market were for microbiological contamination, quality problems termed ‘pathogenic’ in the access document. The findings included that of Bacillus cereus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that is a potential risk to those who are ill or have weakened immune systems.”

Congratulations to our friends at the Polaris Institute. The article states, “The total number of recalls was obtained through an Access to Information Act request by the Polaris Institute, an Ottawa-based public-interest group that wants to curb bottled water use. The group compared the recall notices on the government list with those made public on the agency’s website, and found no record for most of them.”

The full article is at