November 19, 2011
EU Bans Companies From Claiming Water Prevents Dehydration
In what can only be described as a bizarre ruling, the European Union (EU) has ruled that drinking water manufacturers cannot claim that their product prevents dehydration, or they could face up to two years in prison, various media outlets reported Friday.
According to Steve Doughy the Daily Mail, the ruling was handed down by a panel of 21 scientists following three years worth of deliberation, and "results from an attempt by two German academics" -- Dr. Andreas Hahn and Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer -- "to test EU advertising rules which set down when companies can claim their products reduce the risk of disease."
"The academics asked for a ruling on a convoluted statement which, in short, claimed that water could reduce dehydration," Doughy added. "Dehydration is defined as a shortage of water in the body -- but the European Food Standards Authority decided the statement could not be allowed."
Telegraph writers Victoria Ward and Nick Collins say that the policy will become official throughout the UK beginning next month, and despite the fact that National Health Service (NHS) guidelines "clearly that drinking water helps avoid dehydration, and that Britons should drink at least 1.2 liters per day," will prohibit bottled water companies from making such claims.
Giles Sheldrick of the Daily Express notes that the EU's European Food Safety Authority panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies "was ridiculed" following the ruling, which he refers to as "scarcely believable."
"This is stupidity writ large," Conservative MEP Roger Helmer told reporters after the verdict was handed down. "The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true“¦ If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it."
"I had to read this four or five times before I believed it," added UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall, according to the Daily Mail. "It is a perfect example of what Brussels does best. Spend three years, with 20 separate pieces of correspondence before summoning 21 professors to Parma, where they decide with great solemnity that drinking water cannot be sold as a way to combat dehydration."
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