NEWS

Americans prefer it from the tap

In March of 1999, the Council for the Defense of National Resources, a respected American organization, made public an extensive study that was conducted over four years (one has never been done in Greece) which studied over 1,000 samples from 103 bottling companies. One in four of the bottles contained nothing more than ordinary tap water. Also, 18 of the 103 brands were revealed to contain more microbes than permissible by health safety regulations. Almost one-fifth of the bottles contained many chemical elements normally found in industry and in plastic processing, though they were under the federal limit in number. The magazine Scientific American, which published these findings, is especially concerned by the fact that safety checks on bottling companies appear to be fewer than on the public water network. For example, according to regulations, bottling companies must be checked for the E. coli bacterium once a week, while the public utilities network is checked 100 or more times a month. Abroad, it seems, most people prefer tap water, especially when they do not know what they are drinking: 75 percent of people tested on a popular show in New York preferred, with their eyes bound, tap water. In another case reported by Scientific American, a luxury restaurant in Northern California filled the bottles of a renowned label with ordinary tap water. The happy customers paid $7 for a bottle labeled «L’eau du Robinet» (French for tap water).