The FDA is introducing stricter testing standards for the $11 billion bottled water industry. Under the new rules, companies will have to eliminate any causes of fecal contamination in water sources before they can bottle the water for sale. Manufacturers also will need to test source water for any forms of coliform, a group of bacteria that are mostly harmless. If coliform is found, manufacturers must also test for fecal contamination.
Water that is bottled already is subject to tests for coliform and fecal contamination, but testing was not previously mandated for the water source itself. Bottled water producers must also keep records of source water testing.
Although the new rules were proposed two years ago to bring the FDA’s standards in line with those of the Environmental Protection Agency, which has federal oversight of tap water, the rules will not go into effect until Dec. 1. According to the FDA, 70% to 75% of bottled water comes from the ground, where people receive tap water.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires