Commentary  Debunking corporate nonsense

Nestlé Canada clearly needs to get its facts straight before they attack their critics

I think John B. Challinor (the second!) should probably read my article about illiteracy. He may be among the unfortunate 80-plus per cent of Canadians that find themselves below reading level one, unable to comprehend even a moderately complex text.


Let’s debunk his nonsense, shall we? First, to the best of my knowledge, the Polaris Institute, Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Council of Canadians don’t deal in “mythology.” While they may be “anti-bottled water,” trying to label well-respected advocacy and research organizations and huge labour unions as a bunch of activist crackpots spouting lies, while simultaneously trying to brand Nestlé Waters Canada as anything other than a bunch of hucksters trying to distract from the fact that they largely hawk bottled tap water, is embarrassing. Who hired this guy?


Indeed, Health Canada does discuss the regulation of bottled water. What is missing, however, is any discussion of enforcement of the regulations. They do tell us that if something terrible happens, they’ll be all over it, “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and other health officials could test for these bacteria when the manufacturer is out of compliance and/or has been involved in food borne outbreaks.” So I guess we’ll just have to trust Nestlé until something awful happens. Phew, I’m relieved!


Nowhere in my article did I write that money spent on bottled water is not spent on infrastructure. This clown invented an argument, pretended I wrote it, and then said it’s illogical. What I was plainly referring to was the following, from the Polaris Institute:
“The shift toward bottled water helps deflect from the need to call for increased funding and prioritization of safe public water services, leaving the door open for neglectful governments keen on transferring public service costs over to the private sector.”


Probably Mr. Challinor (the second!) didn’t even read my article, and thought I was talking about Polaris’ “exposé” about how our government spends millions on bottled water… which I didn’t.
This guy reminds me of the main character in Thank You For Smoking, “Gentlemen, practise these words in front of the mirror: Although we are constantly exploring the subject, currently there is no direct evidence that links cellphone usage to brain cancer,” or Robert McNamara, “Never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you.” The major difference is that this Challinor (the second!) character sucks at re-spinning.


But by far my favourite part of Nestlé’s answer to my article is that Challinor (the second!) calls upon me and other concerned citizens to make a number of demands of the government in order to protect our public water supplies and delivery infrastructure. I love this part because Nestlé, with its multi-million dollar marketing budget, as far as I can tell, doesn’t do this themselves (go ahead, check their website). I wonder why?


Challinor (the second!), I leave you with a quote from my grandpa, “You’re seldom sorry for what you didn’t say,” or in this case, write. Sometimes it’s better marketing to just keep your  mouth shut.
—Adrian J. Kaats
(the One & Only!)