Causal– BeezKneez

The consumption of bottled water has greatly increased in the last twenty years. This is due to the highly successful marketing campaigns for bottled water that portray their water as “pure and natural.” Which in return makes consumers believe that their homes tap water is unhealthy for them to drink. However, this is a widely believed misconception about tap water. In actuality, tap water is healthier for drinking than bottled water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates standards for municipal tap water while the Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water. The EPA creates standards for the maximum amount of contaminates allowed in our drinking water. The FDA can choose to adopt or neglect these standards when it comes to bottled water. According to Andrew Postman, a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Bottled water plants must test for coliform bacteria just once a week; city taps needs to be tested 100 or more times a month.” John Stephenson, the Director of Natural Resources and Environment for the United States Government Accountability Office, claims, “The FDA does not have the specific statutory authority to require bottlers to use certified laboratories for water quality tests or to report test results, even if violations of the standards are found.” This means that the levels of contaminates in bottled water can not be trusted. When municipal water is tested for contamination the information is collected and sent out to the the municipality’s residents once a year in an annual water report. This report, also known as a Consumer Confidence Report, is required by the EPA and contains information on contaminants found, possible health effects, and the water’s source. The FDA does not require bottled water companies to divulge this information to consumers. A reason for this is because the FDA does not have the authority over bottled water companies to require them to do so.

 

(I’m pretty sure I figured out how to do this but I didn’t have enough time to make it better and longer)

3 thoughts on “Causal– BeezKneez”

  1. I’m sorry I got to you last, Beez, of all the requests for help on the Causal Argument. Of course I don’t expect you to turn around 1000 words of brilliance in the four hours left before the deadline. Do the best with the time you have, post as soon as you can, and with any luck the advice I have to offer will be of assistance.

    I have found out that the EPA regulates tap water and the FDA regulates bottled. The EPA sets standards for drinking water in general but the FDA can choose to ignore them when it comes to bottled water.

    That is fascinating information, Beez. I’ll bet almost nobody knows that. Can you make it significant?

    I’ve also found that fluoride is commonly added to tap water but it is removed from bottled water during the purification process. So with that being said, there is a relationship between children who exclusively drink bottled water and childhood tooth decay.

    I’m familiar with this sad phenomenon, but I wonder is the elimination of fluoride deliberate? Could it be avoided? And, most importantly, are you sure the fluoride formulation removed in the purification process is the same formulation that would prevent tooth decay? Or is that just some claim (of association) made by a person with an axe to grind about purified water? (Such a situation would not be uncommon.)

    I’ve also found sources that claim a chemical called DEHP is used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles for bottled water. This chemical is found to cause developmental and growth problems for children along with other negative effects.

    I guess you could, or maybe even SHOULD, consider the “delivery drawbacks” of bottle contamination, but if we really compared the two, I’ll be the contamination (of lead, of rust, of rust inhibitors) that results from delivering municipal water through pipes to our taps would be a LOT more problematical than whatever leaches from a plastic bottle.

    Other information I’ve found discusses the way the media portrays bottled water as “clean and pure” and often highly publicizes when there is an issue with a municipality’s water (tap water).

    I’d be careful about painting “the media” with that brush, Beez. More likely what you’re hearing are the voices of the bottled water industry.

    There is also the factor to consider that information is more readily available about municipal/tap water and there is a lack of information about bottled water. A reason for this lack of information about bottled water is because the FDA does not require bottled water companies to disclose information about the contents of their water.

    That’s a very nice angle if you can work it (and of course, if it turns out to be true . . . so much the better. 🙂 ).
    Seriously, you can probably justifiably spin the lack of information about bottled water to a real reluctance to get caught making any false claims. The industry appears to have accomplished a general consensus opinion that its product is clean and safe, so facts can only reduce the effectiveness of the ignorance or misinformation that is already winning the PR argument.

    You can say any or all of that, and while it doesn’t amount to proof, there is a rhetorical persuasiveness to pointing out that your “opponent” hasn’t released his tax returns . . . I mean . . . the results of his lab tests.

    Thank you for taking me to music class. I’m flattered and gratified that you’re cheating on another class for me.

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  2. Thank you for your help Professor! I’m going to do my best with the time I have like you said. If I have any other questions I’ll be sure to ask you.

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  3. Let’s see what you’ve got! 🙂

    Your first paragraph is straightforward and clear, Beez. That’s a good start. More bottled water. Because it’s portrayed as pure. Which makes consumers wrongly doubt the purity of (their actually purer) tap water.

    That’s clean. Clean is good. We understand your claims. You’ve accomplished Step One.

    Now to “rhetoric it up.” How do we guide our readers to accept the inevitable rightness of your claims and logic? (How, in other words, if you recall the “waiting on tables” analogy, do we make them order tonight’s special?)

    By stoking the fear of contaminants in municipal water supplies, beverage distributors have dramatically increased the consumption of bottled water over the last twenty years. Bottlers with very little devotion to the nation’s health, such as the Coca-Cola Bottling Company—distributors of Dasani bottled water—have cynically promoted their product as “pure and natural.” This despite the fact that Dasani is nothing more than treated tap water. The intended deception here is to make consumers believe that the water that comes from their tap is unhealthy for them to drink, justifying a 5000% markup in the cost of water for consumers who fall for the ruse.

    You’ve done good work to establish the premises, Beez. The next step, if you’re confident of your research, is to draw the conclusions that should rouse the emotions and the ethical judgment of your readers. I’ve done so in the paragraph above with rhetoric.

    “stoking the fear”
    “dramatically increased”
    “very little devotion to health”
    “cynically promoted”
    “despite the fact”
    “nothing more than”
    “intended deception”
    “make consumers believe”
    “justifying a 5000% markup”
    “fall for the ruse”

    Please don’t think I’m advocating rudeness, inaccuracy, polemic, rabble-rousing, or propaganda. I’m not at all. But once you have your evidence, you can find a way to incorporate judgment into every sentence, making every claim a small persuasive argument.

    —Bottlers use fear to sell bottled water.
    —They call treated tap water “pure and natural”
    —They create panic about real or imagined contaminants
    —By packaging and labeling tap water, they can resell a free product for huge profits.

    Do you see the value of revision to refine your drafts, Beez, turning bald statements of fact into rhetorically persuasive arguments?

    I hope this is helpful.
    Your reactions please.

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