I often see people with bottles of Fiji water at airports or out on the street. It’s easy to associate a better life with anything Fiji.
While checking out Fiji water, I came across the following article: www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/09/fiji-spin-bottle written by Anna Lenzer. I didn’t like what I read and neither will you.
It boggles my mind that anyone would use bottled water for anything but emergencies as there are so many reasons not to drink bottled water. Why anyone would spend several dollars on a bottle of water is, well, it’s just plain crazy. But what do I know.
Here are a few takeaways from the article:
“Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won’t sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?”
” the staff (at the internet cafe) told me they now had to shut down by 5 p.m. Police orders, they shrugged: The country’s military junta had declared martial law a few days before”.
After sending a couple of emails, Anna was approached by two police officers and was told: “We’re going to take you in for questioning about the emails you’ve been writing,” they said.
“I asked him to call my editors, even a UN official who could vouch for me. “Shut up!” he snapped. He rifled through my bags, read my notebooks and emails. I’d hate to see a young lady like you go into a jail full of men,” he averred, smiling grimly. “You know what happened to women during the 2000 coup, don’t you?”
“Who do you work for, another water company? It would be good to come here and try to take away Fiji Water’s business, wouldn’t it?” Then he switched tacks and offered to protect me—from other Fijian officials, who he said would soon be after me—by letting me go so I could leave the country. I walked out into the muggy morning, hid in a stairwell, and called a Fijian friend. Within minutes, a US Embassy van was speeding toward me on the seawall”
“The slogan on Fiji Water’s website—”And remember this—we saved you a trip to Fiji”—suddenly felt like a dark joke. Every day, more soldiers showed up on the streets. When I called the courthouse, not a single official would give me his name. Even tour guides were running scared—one told me that one of his colleagues had been picked up and beaten for talking politics with tourists. When I later asked Fiji Water spokesman Rob Six what the company thought of all this, he said the policy was not to comment on the government “unless something really affects us.”
“Fiji is now America’s leading imported water, beating out Evian. It has spent millions pushing not only the seemingly life-changing properties of the product itself, but also the company’s green cred and its charity work.”
” Ever since a Canadian mining and real estate mogul named David Gilmour launched Fiji Water in 1995, the company has positioned itself squarely at the nexus of pop-culture glamour and progressive politics.”
“And even as bottled water has come under attack as the embodiment of waste, Fiji seems immune. Fiji reps were even credentialed at last year’s Democratic convention, where they handed out tens of thousands of bottles.”
“Nowhere in Fiji Water’s glossy marketing materials will you find reference to the typhoid outbreaks that plague Fijians because of the island’s faulty water supplies; the corporate entities that Fiji Water has — despite the owners’ talk of financial transparency — set up in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg; or the fact that its signature bottle is made from Chinese plastic in a diesel-fueled plant and hauled thousands of miles to its ecoconscious consumers. And, of course, you won’t find mention of the military junta for which Fiji Water is a major source of global recognition and legitimacy. (Gilmour has described the square bottles as “little ambassadors” for the poverty-stricken nation.)”
” My Lonely Planet guide warned that Rakiraki water “has been deemed unfit for human consumption,”
Rakiraki has experienced the full range of Fiji’s water problems—crumbling pipes, a lack of adequate wells, dysfunctional or flooded water treatment plants, and droughts that are expected to get worse with climate change. Half the country has at times relied on emergency water supplies, with rations as low as four gallons a week per family; dirty water has led to outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections. Patients have reportedly had to cart their own water to hospitals, and schoolchildren complain about their pipes spewing shells, leaves, and frogs. Some Fijians have taken to smashing open fire hydrants and bribing water truck drivers for a regular supply.
“Fiji Water’s vice president of corporate communications told me the estimate of 180 million bottles sold in 2006, given in a legal declaration by his boss, was wrong, but declined to provide a more solid number.”
Fiji Water is just bottled water. No more, no less. There is nothing special about the water other than a sophisticated marketing plan run by a Canadian which supports an illegal military Junta.
If you want to learn about the best drinking water, check out the science-based non-profit website www.molecularhydrogeninstitute.com
If you like what you learn about the health benefits of drinking hydrogen rich water, check out my favorite H2 company (primarily because they sell for half the price of their competitors) at www.brilliantz.com. Please note that Brilliantz sells directly to the public and doesn’t pay sales commissions or referral fees, which is why you see a direct link to the website rather than a referral link.