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One must not succumb to the temptation to compare the relative sterility of drinking water with the life-sustaining properties of Ocean Water. Too little is known about the qualities of Ocean Water to make sweeping statements or assess such water by comparing it with something altogether different, like drinking water. The tendency in North America is to do just that - everything has to be sterile and antiseptic - however, bacteria have their rightful place in nature, and most aerobic bacteria, in the quantity found in ocean water is negligible anyway.
Health Canada has this to say...
Are there bacteria in bottled water?
Bacteria are found in most bottled waters sold for drinking purposes. Bottled water is usually disinfected to remove harmful organisms, but is not intended to sterilize the water. Usually, sterile water is reserved for pharmaceuticals.
Many studies have shown that the levels of bacteria increase quickly to maximum levels after six weeks of unrefrigerated shelf life. However, since disinfection (ultra-violet (UV) light, or ozonation) destroys the harmful organisms, this natural regrowth of harmless flora of the water is not considered to be a health hazard. Refrigeration is recommended after the water container is opened in case harmful bacteria are reintroduced at this time.
End of quote.
Chapter 16 of the book "Microbial Ecology of the Oceans" (2000) by David L Kirchman discloses many little-known factors of microbial symbiosis that are proven to be not only desirable but also necessary in the life-cycle of Ocean Water. If anyone would present to us ocean water that is scientifically proven as 'STERILE' - then we would vehemently argue against its use for health purposes - it would be a dead substance and incapable of producing health-supporting results.
Professor Sally W. Chisholm, who is co-director of MIT's Earth System Initiative, explained that as biological oceanographers she and her colleagues are trying to understand the bio-geo-chemistry of the oceans. That is, they are trying to learn "how the [ocean] microbes function as a system in which they have not only co-evolved with each other, but also with the chemistry and physics of the oceans. These three - chemistry, physics and biology - are tightly linked as a system, meaning you can't change one without altering the other two."
Only time and much scientific motivation and documentation will one day establish the wisdom of this stance that is not entirely new or unique. Rene Quinton wrote in his book "L'eau de vie - milieu organique" (translated): "...Ocean water contains a multitude of micro-organisms, vegetable as well as animal, in suspension, permitting the production of catabolic cycles, cycles that confer qualities that render ocean water a veritable milieu vital naturel". (Quotation from the Doctoral Thesis in Pharmacy dated 25 February 1983 by Sylvie Artola attached to the University of Bordeau, France).
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