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If you have this bottled water, stop drinking it immediately

Published Apr 1st, 2021 11:35AM EDT
real water recall
Image: Real Water

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When a company has a problem with one of its food products and the FDA gets involved, a health alert or recall is often the result. In the vast majority of cases, the company complies with the FDA’s wishes, issuing recalls of products that may be contaminated or are otherwise unsuitable for sale. Real Water Inc., which was forced to issue a recall in March after its Real Water brand bottled water was linked to cases of non-viral hepatitis in many people that consumed it.

Normally, that would be the end of the story. The company would figure out what went wrong, fix it, and continue selling its product. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Real Water Inc. wants to cooperate with the FDA anymore, and in a news release on the FDA’s website, it’s abundantly clear that Real Water Inc. has little concern for its customers and should probably be completely avoided going forward.

The FDA’s new bulletin doesn’t hold back. It explains in detail what the FDA has attempted to do and what Real Water Inc. has done in the days since the tainted water was discovered. Instead of complying with the standard protocol — which is designed to protect consumers from harm — the company has continued to promote its product on social media. On top of that, many of the distributors that Real Water Inc. uses had not even received notice from the company that the water was bad. Instead, the FDA was forced to contact them and upon doing so was informed that the company seems to be dragging its feet and putting its customers at risk of illness.

It doesn’t end there. The FDA wants to run an investigation at the Real Water facilities in Nevada and Arizona to figure out how the water could have been contaminated with hepatitis. The company refuses to cooperate and also ignored requests to hand over records. Put simply, the company is acting incredibly shady, and even if you’re a fan of “Real Water” — which is just alkaline water that some people think can rid the body of “toxins” despite no actual scientific evidence to confirm that — this should be enough to make you look elsewhere for your water needs.

The FDA has become aware that “Real Water” brand alkaline water is still being offered for sale through online retailers. The agency is working to locate any remaining products to ensure they are no longer available to consumers. The FDA will continue to monitor this situation closely and follow up with retailers as we become aware of recalled products being offered for sale.

In the meantime, the FDA is echoing its earlier statements urging customers to avoid the water if they see it on store shelves and, if they already purchased it, to get rid of it and avoid using it in any way, including drinking it or using it in recipes.

It’s a pretty gross situation, and it’s unclear why Real Water Inc. doesn’t want to comply with the FDA or figure out why its product is making people sick. It reeks of a company that is trying to hide something, but what? We don’t know, but you can make your voice heard by avoiding the company’s products going forward, or at least until the FDA can confirm that it’s safe to drink once again.

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