In the Bullshit episode titled The Truth about Bottled Water, Penn and Teller argue that bottled water has various advantages and that it is no better than tap water. They argue that it is not safer, cleaner, and purer than tap water. They also argue that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements are not as those of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). FDA regulations cover bottled water while EPA regulations cover tap water. Penn and Teller argue that bottled water thrives on marketing hype and that it is usually tap water.
Penn and Teller evaluate bottled water on the basis of safety, purity and taste
They do tests for bottled water. They say that it does not taste better. With regard to safety, they compare FDA requirements with that of EPA. They find that bottled water has fewer requirements; this raises a question about measures put forward to ensure the safety of consumers. They also argue that bottled water is not pure like marketers would want existing and potential customers believe. They use the example of the brand Yosemite, which portrays cool waters of California, despite being manufactured in a fenced factory 400 miles Northwest of Los Angeles. Pen and Teller finally say that bottled water is expensive; that it is a waste.
Penn and Teller’s evaluation is effective since it discusses some of the things bottled water consumers look for; purity, safety and taste. This criterion is appropriate although it does not mention that bottled water maintains a cold temperature and is convenient. However, priority areas of concern are discussed. Effectiveness of evaluation is enhanced when a text communicates to the audience with conviction (Lincoln & Guba, 1992). Ethical concerns are discussed slightly to make the main argument effective. Through the statement that safety, purity and taste are factors that the “general public” looks for, it is presumed that the intended audience includes water consumers, and to a less extent, policy makers.