Consumer Reports test finds that Whole Foods bottled water contains levels of arsenic approaching the federal limit

Consumer Reports test finds that Whole Foods bottled water contains levels of arsenic approaching the federal limit
This isn't the first time that Starkey Spring Water has has an arsenic-related controversy.Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • A bottled water brand sold in Whole Foods and on Amazon contains arsenic levels approaching federal limits, according to a report from consumer group Consumer Reports.
  • But this is just the latest arsenic-related controversy for Starkey Spring Water.
  • Concern over arsenic levels in the bottled water brand have been raised by Consumer Reports, the Center for Environmental Health, and state regulators since 2016.
  • Federal regulations say that arsenic parts per billion must be below 10 in bottled water.
  • Consumer Reports found that samples of Starkey water contained 9.49 to 9.56 ppb.

A brand of bottled water sold at Whole Foods contains considerably higher levels of arsenic than competing brands, according to recent findings from Consumer Reports.

Starkey Spring Water is currently sold in Whole Foods, and through the grocer's parent company, e-commerce giant Amazon. The brand's website describes the water as hailing from a "2.2 mile deep geothermal spring" in Idaho. Introduced in 2015, Starkey is described as having a "gently alkaline pH of 9.6."

Consumer Reports tested dozens of bottled water brands, finding that samples of Starkey contain "potentially harmful levels of arsenic." The nonprofit consumer organization's tests found that Starkey water contained arsenic levels of 9.49 to 9.56 parts per billion, which it described as "at least three times the level of every other brand tested."

Under United States Environmental Protection Agency regulations around arsenic, bottled water must contain 10 ppb or less. According to Consumer Reports, certain states require tap water to have arsenic levels under 10 ppb.

In response to Business Insider's request for comment, Starkey Spring Water sent a statement from a Whole Foods Market spokesperson.


"At Starkey Water, our highest priority is to provide customers with safe, high-quality and refreshing spring water. Beyond the required annual testing by an FDA certified lab, we have an accredited third-party lab test every production run of water before it is sold," the statement read. "These products meet all FDA requirements and are fully compliant with FDA standards for heavy metals."

Back in 2019, the Center for Environmental Health subjected Starkey water to testing that backed up Consumer Reports' findings. In 2016, regulators tested Starkey samples with 11.7 ppb of arsenic, prompting two back-to-back recalls.