This country lowered its hygiene test standards so 75 bottled water makers could pass
This country lowered its hygiene test standards so 75 bottled water makers could pass.
Image: Shutterstock / Tarasyuk Igor You might want to be careful the next time you reach for a bottle of water in Myanmar.
Some 70 drinking water brands were granted brand licenses despite failing FDA-administered tests, after the government decided it was easier to lower test standards than for the brands to improve the quality of their water.
All water brands in Myanmar were previously required to contain less than 100 colonies per millilitre — the same standard used in places like the US and EU.
However, several of the brands that failed had over 300 colonies per millilitre.
"In U.S. and the E.U., the standard is 100 bacterial colonies.
Our standard was also [set at that level] but that was apparently too high for domestic brands," FDA director-general Dr Than Htut told news outlet Eleven.
Dr Htut added that the country "still won’t approve any brands whose drinking water contains coliform bacteria, including E.coli".
The FDA declined to reveal the brands that initially failed the microbial test.
Clean water is one of Myanmar’s biggest problems — in a country where it is unsafe to drink tap water, many still draw water from unprotected wells as they cannot afford or have no access to bottled water.