Παγκόσμια Ημέρα Νερού σήμερα και ας θυμηθούμε...
It's the water, stupid
IN BILL Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign against George HW
Bush, the phrase "It's the economy, stupid" was coined by Clinton campaign
strategist James Carville. It referred to the notion that Clinton was a better
choice because during his stint as president Bush had not adequately addressed
the economy, which had undergone a recession. In 2009, world economies are yet
again facing a huge crisis.
But, despite the enormity of the current global economic crisis, it is not the
most crucial crisis facing us today and neither is the food shortage one. It
is the scarcity of clean water that has most people worried. Food at
affordable prices is not enough because, in order to produce food, we need
water. In speaking to The Economist, chairman of Nestle Peter Brabeck-Letmathe
said: "The water shortage is an even more urgent problem than climate change."
Ιt’s the (clean) water, stupid!
Last month, the knowledge that this chemical is also found in bottled water in Greece became publicly available. On January 19, the Food Controlling Authority (EFET) issued a statement acknowledging Cr(VI) as an emerging hazard in water but also stating that its levels in bottled water are not being monitored due to the lack of specific legal limits in water regulations. The current law for acceptable total chromium limits in drinking water is 50μg/l, but this is not protective against Cr(VI). However, for the Messapia area specifically, a June 2010 court decision is forcing Messapia’s council to distribute water with Cr(VI) limits below 2μg/l!
In California, a Public Health Goal (PHG) has been established for Cr(VI) in drinking water - 0.02 μg/l, a goal expected to become state law by the end of 2012. This PHG has been calculated in order to lower risk to only one case of cancer per 1,000,000 people. In Greece, where some bottled water contains 22 μg/l, this risk is elevated to one case of cancer per 910 people.
The Ecogreens political party has named the bottled water companies in question, but the names are not repeated here because the intention of this article is not to create a food scare.
Rather, it is to urge the Greek state to urgently impose a legal limit of its own in order to protect public health. Added to that, stricter environmental and food audits are needed to ensure that the water beds are not polluted further and this water that is used in many food industrial processes is free of risks. Today, we are miles away from this point.