In the past few months, American businesses have been emerging offering “raw water” -unfiltered, unsterilised and untreated water that is supposed to have health benefits.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that the fight against water contamination is an important health issue on a global scale. At the same time, a new trend is emerging in the United States, namely the consumption of”raw water”, which is being presented as having health benefits.
The Californian start-up Live Water were one of the first to pioneer the sale of this unfiltered, untreated and unsterilised water, and they are marketing their brand by targeting consumers who want to go back to the ‘origins’ of their produce. This water is drawn from the state of Oregon and is contained not in plastic bottles, but in glass jars.
“The earth constantly offers the purest substance on the planet as spring water. We celebrate this ancient life source that humanity flourished from, since the beginning of our existence. We trust it’s perfect just the way it is.” , as can be read on the Live Water website.
Fans of raw water believe it contains no additives and that it is very rich in minerals and probiotics. It is claimed to have numerous properties: a positive effect on the intestinal microbiotics, a reduction in anxiety, a reduction in wrinkles, fatigue and weight gain, an improvement in the appearance of the hair and nails, as well as improved joint health.
An inquiry led by the New York Times reported on the madness that has gripped certain Americans, who are paying out $27 for a jar of raw water, and $15 to refill the jar directly from Live Water. As the market value of this water has done nothing but increase, other businesses are launching their own similar products, such as Zero Mass Water or Tourmaline Spring.
However, according to the WHO, there could be associated risks, as outlined in a report published in July 2017:
“Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, for their part published a graph (shown below) showing the correlation between when drinking water first started to be treated and the reduction in mortal diseases over the course of the previous century.
The success of Live Water is also due to marketing by the CEO, Christopher Sanborn (also known as Mukhande Singh). This businessmen piggybacks on conspiracy theories that confirm that fluorine, often present in tap water, is added to control the thoughts of people who drink it.
Although various experts are crying out over the potential health risks, people are drawing their own conclusions. Live water have added a disclaimer of sorts to the home page of their website:
“*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your health care provider before making a decision to switch your drinking water source.”