With the impending UK/US Trade Deal hitting the headlines because of the risk of hormone loaded meat and chlorinated chicken, the media is limiting the message to the public to just the threat to our food standards; and ignoring one of the most important to human health - water quality!
Well, you might argue that we are a minimum of 3,000 miles away from the USA, and it will be impossible to construct water pipes of that length, so we are safe from American drinking water!
Well, yes and no.
It is clear that no one is talking about water being delivered from the USA via pipes - there are other ways of importing American water - bottled!
A little known fact outside of America is that almost all of the drinking water systems across the America contains carcinogens - cancer causing in humans.
Hexavalent chromium and nitrates, are present in most water supplies in the USA, according to a 2017 Environmental Working Group (EWG) report that analyzed the quality of U.S. drinking water in all 50 US states.
But the danger to the citizens of this country doesn't necessarily just come from bottled water, despite the fact that chemicals from plastic water bottles leach into the water contaminating it with carcinogenic chemicals such as BPA (bisphenol A).
It comes from the demand by US trade authorities for the UK to abandon EU environmental and food safety standards which could result in far less stringent standards than we have now for our water quality.
The above mentioned EWG tap water database, clearly states:
Since 2012, water utilities' testing has found pollutants in Americans' tap water, according to an EWG drinking water quality analysis of 32 million state water records.
With American standards for food and drinking water being far lower than anything we have had in the UK for the last 40 years, adhering to US standards as part of a UK/US Trade deal; will inevitably lead to the lowering of standards for our food and drinking water and as a result, cancers will become more widespread than it is now and start to mirror those of the USA in just the same way as obesity has done as a result of the explosion in US fast food outlets such as McDonalds and Burger King since the 1980s. Despite the warnings of this happening during Thatcher's government, no bans on the levels of fat, salt and other harmful substances in the food they serve was ever introduced.
In October 2019, the EWG's Tap water Database published this statement:
In 2000, a gallon of gas cost an average of $1.51. “Survivor” premiered on CBS. Google began selling ads on the internet. And the Environmental Protection Agency set a legal limit for uranium in tap water. Since then:
But in almost 20 years, the EPA has not added any new contaminants to the toxic chemicals covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The regulatory system meant to ensure the safety of America’s drinking water is broken. The inexcusable failure of the federal government’s responsibility to protect public health means there are no legal limits for more than 160 unregulated contaminants in U.S. tap water. For some other chemicals, the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCLs, haven’t been updated in almost 50 years.
If the UK Government decide that US food and drink standards are ok and ditch our current standards, you could soon be seeing the lowering of our tap water standards and the subsequent cutting of 'Red Tape', the Tory Governments pseudonym for health & safety standards!
Using the economic status of a country blighted by both Brexit and Covid-19, the Government will no doubt justify such lowering of standards as a way of boosting the profits of water companies by cutting the requirement to align water standards with those of the EU (our current standards).
Indeed, when it comes to environmental issues, of which water supply is one major element; Michael Gove has already betrayed his promise that our standards will remain as those of the EU and as we currently have in UK law, when it comes to dangerous pesticides.
You can read the full report on that here
But the condemnation of US domestic water supply goes even further, and mirrors that of US Food standards in the fact that contaminates ARE allowed by US law!
EWG scientists combed the latest and best independent research to develop truly safe standards for contaminants in drinking water. Unlike government regulations, EWG standards aren’t based on political or economic compromises but rather solely on what’s necessary to protect human health, with an adequate margin of safety.
Because here’s the dirty secret about government drinking water standards: Legal doesn’t necessarily mean safe.
The vast majority of the nation’s drinking water supplies get a passing grade from federal and state regulatory agencies. But many of the 278 contaminants detected by local utilities’ tests are found at levels that may be legal under the Safe Drinking Water Act or state regulations but are well above levels authoritative scientific studies have found to pose health risks.
As the saying goes, you don’t miss your water till your well runs dry. And it’s easy to take your drinking water for granted. You turn on the tap and out it comes, plentiful and usually in compliance with government regulations.
But our research shows that the nation’s water supply is under assault from a toxic stew of pollutants: the toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS, lead from old pipes, runoff from farmland that carries millions of tons of pesticides and fertilizer chemicals into rivers and streams, and too many more.
Prior to the EU Referendum and Brexit, Unionsafety warned that the UK's standards, across the whole spectrum of standards designed to protect our health and our environment; would be under severe threat from a trade deal with the USA.
With the Tory Government in power here, and Trump's America First priority and his record of cutting safety and health legislation, what happens in America will no longer stay in America as our standards are cut to match those of the USA!
Water supply in the UK may well soon become unsafe as it is in the USA!
Source: Environmental Working Group (EWG) / Unionsafety