Latest health trend 'raw water' might be dangerous as well as unscientific

Experts warn drinking untreated water may be actively dangerous.
Experts warn drinking untreated water may be actively dangerous. Photo credit: Facebook/Live Water

The latest health fad to be adopted by America's elite, 'raw water', is drawing scepticism from experts. 

Live Water, a prominent American company specialising in so called raw water, draws its product from a natural spring in Oregon and leaves the water completely unfiltered and untreated.

Companies such as Live Water have recently found immense success, particularly on America's West Coast, with one recent start-up, Zero Mass Water, raising over NZ$30 million in venture capital, according to The New York Times

Proponents of raw water contend that treatment and filtration strips beneficial nutrients which naturally occur in water and also attest that the fluoride commonly added to tap water is harmful to health. 

The founder of Live Water, Mukhande Singh, (according to Fortune magazine, he changed his name from Christopher Sanborn), believes that regular tap water is poison.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Singh said he believes that common drinking water contains "mind-control drugs".

 "Tap water? You're drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them," he said. "On top of that they're putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it's a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health."

Mr Singh's claims about fluoride have no basis in science, while there is strong evidence for its benefit to dental health. 

Dr Donald Hensrud, the director of the Healthy Living Program, compares raw water to the anti-vaxxer movement and warns of the dangers of taking Living Water's claims at face value. 

"Without water treatment, there's acute and then chronic risks," Dr. Hensrud told The New York Times, including E. coli bacteria, viruses, parasites and carcinogenic compounds that can be present in untreated water. "There's evidence all over the world of this, and the reason we don't have those conditions is because of our very efficient water treatment."

"There are people, just like with immunisations, that don't accept the status quo."