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Newsletter of the
Healthy Water Association

Vol. 1, No. 1 June 1, 1997

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the Healthy Water Association is to identify and promote those waters which are most healthful and beneficial to consumers. The Association will gather scientific research on water and water-borne minerals, and submit such research to government agencies around the world, with the intent that governments everywhere will promote the health of their citizens by recommending our waters for the prevention of heart disease, asthma, migraine, cramps, and other diseases.


What is a Healthy Water?

In 1977, the US National Academy of Sciences issued a 900+ page report, “Drinking Water and Health”, which cited over 50 studies in 9 countries that showed that hard water was healthier than soft water. Since then, clinical research has shown that it is primarily the magnesium in hard water that confers the benefits. The NAS estimated that 150,000 fatal heart attacks per annum could be prevented in the US by the consumption of hard water.

Currently, the Healthy Water Association requires members to have at least 25 mg/L magnesium in their waters. Mg-in-water is 30% more bioavailable than Mg in food or most pills. Famous magnesium researcher Prof. Mildred Seelig, MD (who serves on our Scientific Advisory Panel) mentioned recently that 90 mg/L should be adequate Mg in water to prevent deficiencies in consumers. An unpublished Mg literature review by the California Dept. of Health (ordered by Gov. Wilson at my request) showed that benefits from Mg-in-water are detectable at 10 mg/L. Our current requirement of 25 mg/L is thus arbitrary, and may have to be raised in the future. Another of our Scientific Panelists, Tom Miller, is coordinating an unofficial effort to develop a Mg additive to water--probably some form of magnesium carbonate--giving the water a slightly sweet flavor as well as making it more healthful. If the scientists decided that 90 mg/L magnesium content is optimum, I hope that members having less will be able to fortify to the optimum level, as that becomes better defined. See The Magnesium Web Site.

Other desirable criteria include:


Current Happenings

The new head of the NAS, Dr. Sandy Schlicker, called me a couple days ago to tell me that the NAS will announce a change (read “increase”) in the RDA for magnesium about July 15, 1997. I surmise that her predecessor, Dr. Allyson Yates, resigned because of the stress caused by the magnesium catastrophe. By the NAS’s own reckoning in 1977, 150,000 lives could be saved each year if everyone in the US drank hard water. Twenty years have elapsed, 1977-1997, so 20 times 150,000 is 3,000,000 deaths which should not have occurred. Dr. Kessler resigned as head of the FDA shortly after he was informed of the current NAS study of Mg--and Dr. Kessler left Washington very quietly, after years in the limelight.

So who at the FDA is going to take charge of correcting the Mg blunder? It may be Christine Lewis, who deals with “medical foods” at (202) 205-4168. Or it may be the Office of Food Labeling at (202) 205-4561. Or it may be Jack McLam in the Office of Dairy and Food Products at (202) 205-4064. You may wish to call all of them, to get a feel for where this is going, and to light a fire under them.

I am seeking a public apology by the FDA for destroying the American mineral water industry in the 1930s, and for causing millions of American deaths by depriving consumers of magnesium. And a public announcement that the FDA recommends more dietary magnesium, and that the most bioavailable source is Mg-rich water.

In 1994 I submitted a Petition to the FDA asking for a recommendation of Mg-in-water, and they studied it for several years before finally sending me a 10 page letter of rejection filled with boilerplate. To make sure they don’t keep stalling at a cost of 590 lives per day, I have asked Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the FDA’s blunder as a case of deadly negligence and as a cover-up. My goal is to be civil and proper while vigorously stating the scientific case for Mg-in-water. I will not resort to rudeness, but I have picketed government buildings, handing out medical journal reprints about Mg-in-water. Offices picketed include the Mayor of San Francisco, the San Francisco Water Dept., Stanford’s cardiac hospital, and similar locations.

I think the time is ripe for me to once again Petition the FDA to allow health claims for Mg-in-water. I want us to be able to state on our labels, “The natural magnesium in this water may prevent heart disease, asthma, migraine, and cramps.” And I want us to be able to put the logo of the Healthy Water Association (caduceus in a water drop) beside the Nutrition Panel on every bottle of water. If we can do that, we can sell every drop of water we can produce, changing our industry forever.

Current bottled water sales in the US are over 3 billion gallons per annum, and currently we don’t have sufficient Mg-rich water to meet that demand.


Rapid Growth

In the last 60 days, the Healthy Water Association has recruited 10 member companies, and five eminent Science Advisors. Nearly every company or Science Advisor that has been invited has joined, so the limiting factor is how much time I can devote to inviting. Clearly, our Healthy Water Association fills a need, and has great prospects.


Certification Mark

I am registering the logo used by the Healthy Water Association as a “Certification Mark”--that is, a mark that certifies the quality of the product, similar to that of Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL), or the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval (GH). The mark is my personal property, and I am licensing it for free to the Healthy Water Association on a year-to-year basis. Any member is welcome to use the Certification Mark for free, and I will give members one year’s advance notice if I ever decide to institute a small fee for use of the mark.


How is our Association Organized?

As simply as possible. I have recruited a panel of distinguished scientists well known among magnesium researchers to advise us via our Scientific Advisory Panel. This is an informal way of gathering the latest news about Mg, making sure our claims are scientifically correct, and gives us more credibility when we approach government regulatory agencies like the FDA.

I would like to extend my hearty “Thanks!” to our Scientific Advisors: Prof. Mildred Seelig MD, Prof. Theo. Theophanides MD, Prof. Harold Foster, Dr. Jesus Martinez MD, and Mr. Tom Miller. Their addresses/tel/fax/etc. are given in our Roster at the end of this newsletter.

I expect to put out a Newsletter like this every couple of months, or whenever something urgent comes up. As our Association grows, I would like to switch to e-mail and the web for distributing newsletters, membership rosters, etc. So can I please have your e-mail address, if I haven’t gotten it yet? Anybody have any suggestions? Ideas? Wants? Needs?

One member wanted a “Membership Certificate”; so Membership Certificates will be mailed out within a week or two.

Paul Mason is the Editor of this newsletter, and can be faxed at (408) 897-3028 or e-mailed at paulmason@mgwater.com


What about the IBWA?

They are sound asleep, and I have given up trying to wake them. They refuse to discuss the Mg issue, and will not hire a competent water chemist to advise them. I expect that within a few months, the IBWA will be the subject of scathing investigations by the media, and the image of the IBWA may become hopelessly associated with vast deaths, like Hindenburg and Titanic, only much bigger. And yet the IBWA does do some good in their efforts to prevent biological contamination.

So perhaps the name of the IBWA will disappear, with its functions acquired by a more responsible Association of water bottlers with a better image and logo?


Web Sites

The official web site of the Healthy Water Association can be found at HWA.shtml There you will find our Membership Roster, the Scientific Advisory Panel Roster, and our Association newsletters. Any breaking news may also be posted there.

I also edit/publish the “Magnesium Web Site”, which gives about 300 pages of medical journal reprints concerning Mg-in-water. You can access that athttp://www.mgwater.com


Association Finances

There aren’t any! This whole effort is labor-intensive, but doesn’t cost much in terms of dollars. I donate $95 per month for our Association advertising in Beverage Industry and Beverage World, and I donate the Web Sites, telephone, fax, and postage, which may run about another $155/mo., so that’s $250/mo., or $3,000 per annum. I get three payoffs from this:


  1. On a global basis, Mg-rich water could save 5-20 million lives per annum. Over a 50-year term, that would be 250 million to 1 billion lives saved. Not even the inventor of penicillin had that big an impact.


  2. My Adobe Springs give 75,000,000 gallons per annum, taste sweet, and contain 110 mg/L magnesium. Even at $.03 per gallon in bulk, I will get a decent income from my spring when Mg-rich water is recognized by the FDA as a preventive for heart disease, asthma, migraine, and cramps.


  3. It is a pleasure to associate with idealistic, ethical bottlers like yourselves, sharing in the excitement of our meteoric industry--and it also gives me an excuse to associate with the world’s leading Mg researchers, which is a great pleasure and honor.

Gee! Where else could I get so much bang for only 250 bucks a month?

If anyone wants to “donate”, just make out the check to Adobe Springs, and I’ll log it as “miscellaneous taxable income”. It may not be tax-deductible for you, but I don’t have time to mess with incorporation papers and filing tax returns for the Association, so the gift route is more efficient, and keeps everything legal. The Association does not have a bank account.

So membership is FREE, and I hope we can continue on that basis for a long time. If the membership wants more services, junkets, conventions, etc., like the IBWA offers, we may eventually have to get incorporated and staffed--but I’m not the man to do it. At that point, I may become “emeritus”, and let someone else run the day-to-day paper shuffling. I prefer to do research, so I only sell bulk water to bottlers, and have no intention of bottling/distributing anything myself. That’s your expertise.


What you can do


  1. Download the medical journal reprints about Mg-in-water, and send them to your state’s Dept. of Health, asking that they help promote increased Mg in ALL water supplies, both tap and bottled, and ask them to inform the public of the Mg-deficiency problem. The medical journal reprints are athttp://www.mgwater.com


  2. Contact the media about the Mg catastrophe, and how you can help save lives.


  3. Write/call the FDA, and ask permission to make health claims for your water. I will be submitting more petitions to the FDA on behalf of the Association, but the more the merrier. Call Christine Lewis, who deals with “medical foods” at (202) 205-4168; Office of Food Labeling at (202) 205-4561: Jack McLam in the Office of Dairy and Food Products at (202) 205-4064.



One member asked for a list of relevant books. I recommend :


  1. Heart Healthy Magnesium, by Dr. James B. Pierce, 1994, Avery Publishing Group. This book for laymen gives a very cogent, understandable explanation of what magnesium can do for consumers.


  2. Crazy Water--the Story of Mineral Wells and Other Texas Health Resorts, by Gene Fowler. Texas Christian University Press, 1991. This amusing history of our industry in Texas shows how our industry was destroyed by the misguided efforts of the FDA and AMA in the 1920s and 1930s. During the era of Elliot Ness and J. Edgar Hoover, no scientific evidence was needed to tar and feather our industry, destroying it, so that now American bottled water contains only 2.7 mg/L magnesium (average), compared to 28 mg/L magnesium in the rest of the world--more than 10 times as much! This suppression has caused deaths on the same scale as Hitler and Stalin, and has not yet been corrected. The US deaths from Mg-deficiency continue at about 590 per day.


  3. The Dictocrats, by Omar Garrison. This is an old, out-of-print expose of the FDA which shows the totalitarian mind-set of the FDA during the 1930s. Many sources of dietary Mg were suppressed, including Welch’s grape juice and orange juice, as well as mineral water. Only mineral water never recovered its share of stomach, as it was never rehabilitated by the FDA and AMA, and many ignorant doctors and bureaucrats still think that “pure”, low-TDS water is healthiest, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. I aim to change that.


  4. The Good Water Guide, by Maureen and Timothy Green, Rosendale Press, London, 1994. It briefly describes the mineral profile, history, and production of many of the world’s most famous brands of water. One interesting quote of the European Union Mineral Water Regulations, “It shall be forbidden... to advertise... natural mineral water properties relating to the prevention, treatment, or cure of a human illness.” So consumers drink mineral water in Europe because of cultural habits, not because of any enlightenment amongst the regulators.


  5. The Pocket Guide to Bottled Water, by Arthur von Wiesenberger, Contemporary Books, 1991. A slim volume covering a different group of bottled waters than does The Good Water Guide. Bottlers may want both books as references.

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The Healthy Water Web Site is maintained by:

Paul Mason
P.O. Box 1417
Patterson, CA 95363

This page was first uploaded on June 9, 1997