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    Bottled Water Fight Heats Up

    The packaged beverage segment continues to stir controversy, with one group questioning its safety and another responding with a petition drive.

    NEW YORK -- The argument over the purity of bottled water is beginning to boil. A petition drive by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released this week demanded politicians scuttle plans to ban bottled water for safety workers and consumers. Also this week, bottled water companies are meeting in Las Vegas to consider the future of the industry, the CEI said in a statement, according to a report by Progressive Grocer, sister publication to Convenience Store News.

    The CEI petition comes on the heels of last week’s report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) stating its testing "revealed chemical contaminants in every bottled water brand analyzed."

    Wal-Mart and Giant Supermarket quickly denounced the EWG’s claim toxic byproducts of chlorination were found in Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant Supermarket’s Acadia bottled water brands.

    CEI’s petition campaign called EWG’s report "a politically-motivated attack against bottled water," and "a study by an environmental pressure group designed to undermine confidence in the safety of the product."

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principle of free enterprise and limited government, according to its press release.

    The Environmental Working Group, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles, "that uses the power of public information to protect public health and the environment," according to the organization’s Web site.

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