Debating Fiji Water

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


To discuss Mother Jones’ recent expose of Fiji Water, we gathered the story’s muckraking writer, a bottled water industry rep, and an eco-blogger, then turned them loose to debate with readers.

What transpired was a lively discussion about military juntas, the eco-impact of bottled water, censorship, and the bottled water company in the middle of the storm.

Here are a couple exchanges that stood out:

–An anonymous Fiji resident challenged the notion that Fiji Water should speak out against the government:

“(Fiji Water) faces a dilemma, it can criticise the government and be morally right but at the same time putting whole communities under the poverty line. Or it can protect those communities and keep quiet. Which is the right answer? Which is morally correct?”

Anna Lenzer, the writer of the story, responded that if Fiji Water wanted to protect and serve the Fiji community, it should be doing a lot more:

“The company’s claim to, as Rob Six wrote in his reply to Mother Jones, ‘bring clean water to 100 communities in Fiji this year,’ cost the company just $150,000 last year…The company gave $100,000 in 2007 to the trust fund that covers the villages around its bottling plant. Meanwhile, the Resnicks made a $55 million donation to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art last fall. So it’s hard to swallow the company’s claim that they’re giving Fiji all they’ve got, especially in a time of crisis in Fiji.”

–A reader named “Christian” had some concerns about bottled water in general:

“Bottled water never was, is not, and never will be a ‘green’, ecologic product. You can produce it the way you want, it will never be ‘green’. Bottled water is an industrial absurdity, nobody needs bottled water. Pretending that a brand of bottled water is a ‘green business’ is showing deep ignorance.”

Bottled Water Industry rep Tom Lauria countered that in some cases, bottled water is neccessary:

“Anyone who has travelled anywhere outside the United States and/or Canada knows that bottled water is an essential element in hydration. U.S. Travelers in Asia, Africa, India and even Europe depend on bottled water exclusively. There is no drinkable ‘tap water’ in many places.”

Thanks to all who participated in the discussion. To read the whole thing, or to give your two cents before the forum ends today, click here.

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate