Real Water’s bottled product, which has been linked to liver failure and non-viral hepatitis by the federal government, is still up for sale online and being pushed through social media despite the company’s voluntary recall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.
“The FDA has become aware that ‘Real Water’ brand alkaline water is still being offered for sale through online retailers,” the FDA wrote in an update on March 31. “The agency is working to locate any remaining products to ensure they are no longer available to consumers.”
The FDA noted it was running an audit “to gauge the effectiveness” of the company-initiated recall. Real Water says that while the “potential problem rose in Las Vegas, we’re taking proactive steps to stop selling and distributing Real Water products throughout the United States until the issue is resolved.”
“Real Water is asking that all retailers pull the products from the shelf effective immediately and hold it in the backroom or return it to the distributors,” the company says while asking any customers who purchased the product to return it.
However, it appears like distributors were left out of the loop, per the FDA.
“As of March 31, 2021, the audit has found that, prior to contact by FDA, a number of distributors had not received notification directly from the firm about the recall. Additionally, as of March 31 2021, Real Water Inc. is still promoting the product via social media despite issuing a recall announcement,” reads the FDA update.
The FDA continues to urge consumers not to buy, drink or cook with the water, or serve it to pets.
The FDA claims the company was uncooperative, hampering full investigations at Real Water's Nevada and Arizona sites. According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Charles LoBello, a lawyer for Real Water, told District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Monday that he was having trouble reaching the company's plant manager or lead technician.
“I can’t imagine how they could say we’re not cooperating,” said Laura Ungaro, another Real Water lawyer with Craig Mueller & Associates, per the outlet. “We’ve done everything but stand on our heads for them. Anything and everything they want, we’ve made available to them.”
Fox News attempted to reach Las Vegas-based Real Water attorney Craig Mueller for comment Thursday but could not immediately hear back.
The news comes after Real Water founder Brent Jones apologized to his customers last week in a video posted to the company's site. He 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.
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.
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.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.