I’m a Fool and I Can Prove It.
Majid Ali, M.D.
I’m a fool. Really, I’m a fool. I can prove it. Today I paid $4.50 for a small bottle of water. Perhaps you will take a kinder view of me when you find out how I discovered I am a fool. I bought a small bottle of water for $4.50 because my wife, Talat, asked me to fetch her some water when we were in a movie theater.
In 2010, I recall someone telling me that many families in Pakistan lived on less than 300 rupees a day. The cost of a bottle of Dasani water which I bought today for $4.50 would have bought 450 rupees worth of food in Pakistan. So I still think that bottle of water was a travesty, though I would happily do this again if Talat asked me to do it.
Notwithstanding the above, for me the global profiteering from bottling drinking water is saddening. I consider it a violation of human rights of a large mass of humankind. Below, I reproduce some texts from my two of my previous articles on the subject.
Queen Water of King Oxygen
The above is the title of a radio program I presented at WBAI radio New York. You can hear my scientific and philosophic reasons for saying no to plasticized water in detail in it.
My Scientific Reasons for Not Drinking Plasticized Bottled Water
Following are my scientific reasons for not drinking bottled water:
· Drinking plasticized bottled water denies me many benefits of healthful fluids. Such as organic vegetable juices and herbal teas.
· I do not know the condition of the water before it was bottled.
· I do not know the conditions prevailing in the bottling plants.
· I do not know the conditions under which bottled water is transported.
· I do not know how much cancer-causing and immune-suppressing plastic materials leached out of the plastic bottles into the water.
· I do not know the quality control data, if any exists, concerning the bottled water. Water-bottling companies are always mute on the subject.
· I do not know the price other people pay for the pseudoluxury of drinking bottled water.
My Philosophic Arguments Against Drinking Plasticized Bottled Water
Following are my philosophic reasons for not drinking bottled water:
· It is saddening to imagine the enormity of toxic polutants emitted by the plastic industry that manufactures billions of plastic bottles.
· It is disturbing to imagine the horror of billions of plastic bottles floating on and sinking into planetary waters to poison the habitats of all planetary life.
· It is heart rending to imagine cancerization of cells of unborn babies bobbing in toxic wombs.
· It shames me to think that I am enriching eco-monsters who poison people everywhere. Consider the following:
· Some three billion cases of bottled water sold last year — an increase of 14 percent over 2006, according to Beverage Digest.
· Fiji water sales volume increased by 30 percent from 2006 to 2007, and the company reported double-digit growth in 2008.
· In August 2006, the CSE, a public trust group in Delhi, India, released a technical analysis of 12 popular soft drinks made by the soft-drinks giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. It found that bottled products of these companies contained toxic pesticides, including lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos, at up to 36 times the European standards for bottled water.
· In Nairob, Kenya, children drink water collected in discarded plastic bottles that are spread on metal sheets and exposed to the sun for several hours. In April 2010, National Geographic magazine reported that the ultraviolet rays of sun kill microbes in the water. It did not concern itself with how much toxic plastic leached into such water and what would be the expected long-term toxicity of those chemicals.
· Kenyan children are exposed to plastic carcinogens in concentrations that are several hundred to thousand times higher than those in formula bottles used in the U.S.
The drinking water of nearly two-thirds of the world’s population is under incremental jeopardy. Children are most vulnerable to the evil schemes of eco-monsters who want to privatize public waters, as they once did in Bolivia. Drinking bottled water is one sure way of strengthening their grip.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Mehmood Khan, abruptly screamed and pulled me out of my internal narrative. He was a corporation man who continued ranting about the water wars. I looked around. He held the audience in rapt attention. I wondered how many of them might have connected the dots. The program listed the keynote speaker as the chief nutrition scientist of Pepsi Cola company. My mind drifted again to a large article published in the journal Nature which I had read several months earlier.
Scientists at The Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi, India took on the soft-drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. In August 2006, they released a technical analysis of 12 popular soft drinks made by these companies and sold in India, claiming that they contained toxic pesticides, including lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos, at up to 36 times the European standards for bottled water. I wondered how many doctors might have been aware of what kind of polluter Pepsi Cola company had been in India and other poor countries. I wondered if the nutrition scientist of PepsiCo ever spoke about carcinogens his company spreads worldwide.
The polluters have the loudest voices when they piously pontificate at charity events. With a few hundred dollars they can win all the good will of the uninformed audience, which their companies crave. Nutrition science is about health preservation, disease prevention, and reversal of chronic diseases with nutritional remedies. I wanted to ask if the PepsiCo’s chief nutrition scientist, an endocrinologist before his exaltation at the company, had ever done any of that. Endocrinologists, of course, do not practice nutritional medicine. Why be a skunk in a garden party? I told myself.
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