The owners of a bottled water company in Nevada are barred from producing any food or beverage without first notifying the FDA after one person who drank the water died. The Southern Nevada Health District has identified 16 probable cases of acute non-viral hepatitis tied to consumption of the bottled alkaline water branded as Real Water, including one affecting a woman in her 60s with underlying conditions, who later died. Five children also came down with acute non-viral hepatitis, which can cause liver failure, while others reported vomiting, per the New York Times. The FDA warned people not to "drink, cook with, sell, or serve" the water back in March. Federal prosecutors have since faulted father and son Brent and Blain Jones of Real Water and AffinityLifestyles.com for distributing Las Vegas-area tap water processed with various chemicals, per the Guardian.
The products, said to have detoxifying properties, were reportedly processed with lye, magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate and distributed from facilities in Henderson, Nev., and Mesa, Ariz., "in violation of current good manufacturing practices, relevant food safety standards and hazard prevention measures," according to the Justice Department. "We count on bottled water companies to take appropriate measures in ensuring their water doesn't make our families sick, particularly children," said Acting US Attorney for the District of Nevada Christopher Chiou. The companies, which had to show they'd stopped processing and distributing "water or any other type of food," are barred from resuming production in the future without FDA inspections. They must also destroy all bottled water products in their possession. (Read more hepatitis stories.)