“EU says water is not healthy”, says made-up man

The Express:


In a scarcely believable ­ruling, a panel of experts threw out a claim that regular water consumption is the best way to rehydrate the body.

The bizarre diktat from Brussels has far-reaching implications for member states, including Britain, as no water sold in the EU can now claim to protect against dehydration.

Any producer breaching the order, signed by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, faces being jailed for up to two years.

The Guardian:

This isn’t really a rule so much as a piece of advice, which member states are free to interpret as they wish… The claim wasn’t submitted for a genuine product, but was created as a deliberate ‘test’ exercise by the two professors, who were apparently already unhappy with the European Food Standards Authority. The panel were well aware of it’s absurdity too, noting drily that “the proposed risk factors,” the conditions addressed by the hypothetical product, in this case water loss, “are measures or water depletion and thus are measures of the disease (dehydration).”

Executive summary: the EFSA decided to be pedantic, and point out that water alone doesn’t prevent dehydration; you need sufficient water, as well as various other odds and sods such as salt.

The Guardian, again:

So the ruling seems pretty sensible to me, or at least as sensible as a ruling can be when the claim being tested is vexatious in the first place. It’s accurate advice, and it prevents companies selling bottled water from making exaggerated claims for their products, which is a good thing.

Comment on the Express article:

This must be the same group of so called scientist that made the false claim that man and CO2 is causing global warming. No wonder no body has any respect for science anymore.