Real Water founder apologizes after drink linked to liver failure, hepatitis
They say you should drink water to go easy on your liver -- just not this water.
Real Water founder Brent Jones apologized to his customers Thursday after the federal government linked the company’s signature product to liver failure and non-viral hepatitis.
The bottled-water is advertised as "alkalized water infused with negative ions," and the company had claimed that its higher pH level improved hydration in consumers and that the negative ions "are believed to be the invisible healer."
In a video posted to the company’s site, Jones said leadership "would like to express our deepest sympathy and concern" over the product’s adverse effects and said the findings of a Food and Drug Administration investigation warranted a "personal" response.
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"We started Real Water over 13 years ago with the intention to provide a healthy product that benefits and elevates people’s lifestyles," he said. "We’re deeply saddened to learn that anything otherwise could be the result."
He also said the company was cooperating with the FDA and undergoing an independent evaluation of its water quality – the results of which were being posted on its website.
"You should never have any worry about the safety of any of our products," he said. "I want to personally apologize to all of our customers and I assure you that the lessons learned from this will drive further improvement in the brand."
The FDA over the weekend urged consumers and businesses to stop drinking, selling and serving the product.
On Wednesday, Real Water announced a voluntary recall of its product, saying it "may be linked to instances of non-viral hepatitis."
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The FDA listed symptoms to look out for as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice. Anyone who drank the product and is experiencing those is urged to contact a doctor.
The FDA and Nevada health officials launched an investigation into Real Water after at least five children wound up hospitalized with liver failure after drinking the product. Some of their immediate relatives also experienced symptoms, authorities said.
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Real Water had promoted its alkaline pH level and negative ions as carrying a number of health benefits.
And the company’s website proudly displayed photographs of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Courteney Cox and Miley Cyrus carrying bottles.