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Contaminated Dew Bottled Water: The debunked claim that refuses to die

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Dew mineral water is contaminated and unsafe for drinking.

The message is an old one that keeps resurfacing. The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) said in 2011 when it was first reported that the claim was false because there is no such water brand in Ghana. It still does not exist in Ghana.

Full text

A viral message is warning consumers against drinking Dew bottled water.  It claims the bottled water contains a poisonous chemical that has already killed 180 people in Tanzania.

“Hello, please pass this on to any friends on your contact list. I just got this. Please, don’t buy or drink any bottled water called “DEW”. It was shipped from Tanzania where it has killed 180 people.  It is said to contain a poisonous chemical. Please pass this on and save millions. If you don’t believe, check google for “DEW bottled water,” the message reads.

It also requests users to pass on the information to warn other consumers, thereby potentially saving “millions” from also dying.

Verification

It appears the message has been debunked several times over the years but refuses to die. Our checks, using Google image search and web search with the keywords ‘Dew bottled water’, indicate that the claim has been online since 2011 and has popped up several times in subsequent years.

It was reported in 2011 in Ghana that Dew, a non-existent bottled water that contained poison, had made its way into markets in Nigeria and Ghana from Tanzania where it had killed 180 people.

Ghana’s Food and Drugs Board (FDB), now Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), at the time said in a press release that it had not registered any such product. It advised the public to report any person who offered any water branded as DEW Bottled Water for sale.

The FDB also said it had established that the rumour was false after carrying out investigations, including post-market surveillance activities and contacts with Nigeria’s National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Tanzanian Bureau of Standards.

NAFDAC of Nigeria said it had investigated the claims and found that they were “false and mischievous.”

Dubawa further reached out to the FDA to authenticate the current claim.

“The allegation is so so old. The same picture has been circulating for years in many countries…it was investigated many years ago,” the FDA said.

“The product (Coral Dew Bottle Water) is not on the Ghanaian market and the FDA Ghana has not registered the product for use or sale in Ghana,” the FDA further confirmed.

Checks from the registered products listed on the official website of the Food and Drugs Authority showed no results for Coral Dew Mineral Water.

Furthermore, our web search did not reveal the existence of the bottled water or any reported deaths in Tanzania or elsewhere attributed to any such brand.

Conclusion

Nine years on, there is no new evidence that proves this claim to be true. The claim is an old one which keeps reappearing on social media and should be disregarded.

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