Following legal threats from Nestle, the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department in Florida has pulled radio ads off the air that asserted the quality of its tap water as being better than bottled water. Reported by the Miami Herald, Nestle threatened legal action because the ad declared ‘Miami-Dade’s tap water as cheaper, purer and safer than bottled water.’ A Nestle spokesperson responded that, “It’s an attack on the product we produce — and it’s blatantly wrong.” An attack on a product they produce?
Food & Water Watch has blasted this claim and so should we! ”Nestle should be ashamed for harassing Miami for promoting its own water,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Washington-based Food & Water Watch. “This is just outrageous. It’s just a way to scare off other utilities.” Interestingly, these legal threats also seem to follow declining sales in the $11.7 billion bottled water industry.
Michigan residents have their own horror stories about the effect of Nestle’s water depleting practices across the state. In Mecosta County, local residents and environmentalists sued Nestle (who bottles Ice Mountain water locally) for depleting and damaging aquifers and watersheds. In Detroit, private groups have long-sought to control one of the oldest and largest municipal water departments near the vast Great Lakes.
Read more about the Take Back the Tap Campaign from Food & Water Watch, and Take the Pledge to Take Back the Tap to promote and preserve public water! And see The Water Front film trailer for a snapshot of one Michigan community’s effort to preserve its local water department and protect its residents against high costs and shutoffs.