Public release date: 20-Nov-201
UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall: ‘I had to read this four or five times before I believed it. This makes the bendy banana law look positively sane’
It may not come as a surprise to many but bottled water can keep you cool and healthy.
But it was only today that European authorities made the ruling, which should allow companies to make such claims on their products.
It follows a bizarre ruling by the European Commission last week that drinking water does not ease dehydration.
The controversial decision – after three years of discussion – led to much head-scratching at advertising companies.
Now the European Food Standards Authority have added to the general confusion by approving two claims that bottled water can help keep you both cool and healthy.
The EFSA said there was enough evidence to prove water can regulate the body’s temperature and help it carry out normal ‘physical and cognitive functions.’
It is expected that the European Commission will allow companies to make both claims on packaging in the future.
What they cannot do is say that it is prevents dehydration – and they face a possible two year jail sentence if they do so.
This decision results from an attempt by two German academics 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.
Dehydration is defined as a shortage of water in the body – but the European Food Standards Authority decided the statement could not be allowed.
The ruling, announced after a conference of 21 EU-appointed scientists in Parma and which means that bottled water companies cannot claim their product stops people’s bodies drying out, was given final approval last week by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
In response Tory MEP Roger Helmer, said: ‘This is stupidity writ large. The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are worrying about the obvious qualities of water. If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project, then this is it.’
Under British law, advertisers who make health claims that breach EU law can be prosecuted and face two years in jail.
The decision was being hailed as the daftest Brussels edict since the EU sent down laws on how bendy bananas should be.
UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall said: ‘I had to read this four or five times before I believed it.
Careful consideration: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gave final approval to the 21 scientists’ ruling this week
‘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.’
He added: ‘Then they make this judgment law and make it clear that if anybody dares sell water claiming that it is effective against dehydration they could get into serious legal bother.
‘This makes the bendy banana law look positively sane.’
The statement on which the eminent EU experts ruled claimed that ‘regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance.’
This is stupidity writ large. The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are worrying about the obvious qualities of water. If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project, then this is it. – TORY MP ROGER HELMER
However the Parma gathering ruled: ‘The panel considers that the proposed claim does not comply with the requirements for a disease risk reduction claim.’
It declared that shortage of water in the body was just a symptom of dehydration.
Dr Andreas Hahn and Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer of the Institute for Food Science and Human Nutrition at Hanover Leibniz University said they were unhappy but not surprised.
‘We fear there is something wrong in the state of Europe,’ Professor Hahn said.
He added that the academics had been trying to test the working of EU food and advertising rules.
‘It was free of charge, there was no apparent red tape attached and it gave food business operators, whom we regularly advise, a chance to advertise their products in a new way,’ he added. ‘We thought we should give it a try and see what would happen.
‘But over almost four years, it became clear that the procedure was anything but straightforward. Any company depending on the claim would long have gone out of business. What is our reaction to the outcome? Let us put it this way: We are neither surprised nor delighted.’
He said: ‘The European Commission is wrong; it should have authorised the claim. That should be more than clear to anyone who has consumed water in the past, and who has not?’
- Dehydration: EU says you CAN’T claim drinking water stops body drying out (dailymail.co.uk)
- EU claim drinking water does not prevent dehydration (dailymail.co.uk)
- Daily Benefactor News – Moronic EU Officials Ban Claim That Water Can Prevent Dehydration (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration (telegraph.feedsportal.com)
- EU Directive Bans Any Claim Water Can Prevent Dehydration (friendseat.com)