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In a story that generated a great deal of media interest, congressional hearings today focused on two separate reports that concluded that the EPA regulates tap water more carefully than the FDA does bottled water. The CQ Healthbeat (7/9, Stephenson) reports, "Although bottled water is marketed as healthier and safer than what comes out of the faucet, the federal government regulates tap water more strictly, according to two new reports discussed Wednesday at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing." Joshua M. Sharfstein, FDA’s principal deputy commissioner said the agency "plans to address a major difference involving contaminant levels between its requirements and the EPA’s rules for tap water. The EPA has set a maximum contaminant level for DEHP, a chemical used in the production of plastic that is considered a probable carcinogen. The FDA considered passing a rule in 1996 but deferred action, Sharfstein said."

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