Since water purity and safety are important for your overall health, you may have investigated various water filters. One popular form of water filtration to remove contaminants is the Berkey water filtering system, but a Berkey lawsuit claims that those products don't work as advertised.
What does the lawsuit say about this company? Can consumers seeking purified water trust a Big Berkey water filtration system? Find out how the lawsuit started and what's happening in 2023.
Is Berkey Filter being sued?
According to BerkeyFilters.com, the manufacturer of Berkey filters, New Millennium Concepts (NMCL), is the company named in the Berkey lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in late 2022, is a class action suit claiming that Black Berkey filtering products do not perform as advertised.
NMCL has denied all of the lawsuit's allegations and requested the dismissal of the lawsuit.
NMCL made a public statement in December 2022, saying there were "many problematic issues in the lawsuit," including that much of the plaintiff's information came from websites of Berkey knock-off products. There was a lawsuit that had previously been withdrawn, and NMCL stated that the second Berkey lawsuit seemed to be an attempt at a "do-over" to force a settlement.
According to the NMCL statement, the plaintiffs aren't alleging any physical harm or adverse health effects from using a Berkey filter. Instead, the lawsuit claims Berkey filtration systems are "nothing more than an empty can or plastic bottle."
Berkey Water Filters' owner has also sued the EPA.
In August 2023, NMCL filed its own lawsuit against the U.S. EPA to stop the environmental group from classifying Berkey filters as pesticides. According to court documents, the EPA suddenly decided in 2022 that the plaintiffs NMCL and James Shepherd, owner of Berkey Water Systems, had to register their filters as a "pesticide device" and then a "pesticide."
Berkey stated that its filters aren't harmful, and the EPA's ruling will mean Berkey filter owners must turn to knockoff or counterfeit filters. It said, "The EPA's decision to persecute the market leader may well cause actual damage to the American people who the EPA is supposed to be protecting."
Why aren't Berkey filters NSF/ANSI certified?
According to Wirecutter by The New York Times, one of the big problems with Berkey water filters is that they aren't NSF/ANSI certified. Wirecutter tested Berkey filters that it found to be inconsistent with the results of water purification tests conducted by Berkey. It concluded that it would only recommend NSF/ANSI-certified filters since its standards are rigorous and transparent.
Berkey's response to complaints of its filters not having NSF/ANSI certification is that it conducts its own independent lab tests to check for "far more contaminants than the applicable NSF certifications." The brand also states that required fees make NSF certification overly expensive, and they prefer to pass on the savings to customers.
Of course, Wirecutter notes that even if it didn't have concerns over the non-NSF certification of Berkey filters, it would avoid recommending the products because Berkey filters are so large and expensive.
Remember that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends the Travel Berkey Water Filter because it can eliminate 100 percent of "forever chemicals" in drinking water. However, the lack of NSF certification might be problematic enough to lead you to a different water filter brand.