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The legal battle for recognition of the importance of dietary magnesium:

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Healthy Water Association

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Paul Mason, Librarian
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Patterson, CA 95363

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Press Release, August 7, 1997

FDA Suit for 3 Million Deaths

A Federal Suit was filed against the FDA August 5 for causing 3 million deaths--the cause was magnesium (Mg) deficiency, particularly magnesium-deficient water.

For 77 years the FDA forbade any health claims for mineral water, and deliberately destroyed the American mineral water industry. Now it turns out that magnesium in water could have prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths per annum, equaling 3 million lives just in the last 20 years. The National Academy of Sciences estimated in 1977 that up to 150,000 lives per annum could be saved by drinking hard water. More recent research indicates that figure was low.

Paul Mason, president of the Healthy Water Association of water bottlers, filed suit against the FDA and the US Department of Health after collecting dozens of research studies from universities all over the world, all indicating that magnesium in hard water is correlated with longer life and less heart disease. Clinical studies, intervention studies, and epidemiological studies all pointed toward the same conclusion. "So why," Mason asks, "didn't the FDA recant its harassment of mineral water years ago?" The answer appears to be that everyone was too embarrassed to admit causing millions of deaths, and American business had a financial stake in not changing things.

The bottled water industry had become used to bottling lowTDS waters that were nearly mineral-free. American bottled waters average less than 3 mg/L magnesium, compared with 28 mg/L in the rest of the world. Ninety mg/L may be optimal. The beer industry was bragging of the "pure" water it used, and soft-drink makers did not want to reformulate their products, and the medical profession was embarrassed about its monumental blunder. So no one wanted to acknowledge the scientific truth, and the magnesium issue remained virtually hidden from the public for 20 years--known only to a handful of scientists and magnesium researchers.

Now that has changed, as the researchers have become indignant at the continuing deaths, and the collection of Mg studies has become overwhelming. A few bottlers in California, having Mg-rich springs, have formed the Healthy Water Association to promote Mg-rich water and force the FDA and AMA to admit the truth about Mg. After the FDA ignored his Petitions, the Association's president filed suit against the FDA in Federal Court, figuring that a Court of Law would give scientists a chance to challenge the FDA and prove Mg's benefits. Mason has to be certain of his facts to legally challenge such a powerful agency, but Mason's not worried, stating, "I know the scientists are right and the bureaucrats are wrong, so I don't perceive any risk to me in telling the truth about Mg. It can save about one life every 2.5 minutes in the U.S. and that's worth doing."

The suit against the FDA can be viewed on the WEB at

300 pages of medical journal reprints about Mg can be viewed at

This page was first uploaded to The Magnesium Web Site on August 8, 1997