European Food Safety Authority: Drinking Water Does Not Reduce Risk of Dehydration

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European Food Safety Authority: Drinking Water Does Not Reduce Risk of Dehydration

You’ve Got To Be Kidding…

It takes at least 2 Lawyers, 3 years, 20 Correspondences, and 21 Professors to decide that drinking water cannot be sold as a way to combat dehydration. And if anybody dares sell water claiming that it is effective against dehydration they could get into serious legal trouble.


Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer (Attorney at Law, Hamburg: Specializes in Intellectual Property Law and Food Law) and Dr. Andreas Hahn (Research Assistant, Free University of Berlin: Specializes in German and European Economic, Competition and Energy Law), are German professors who submitted a report in February 2011 (View Report).

From the Report Abstract:

The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to water and reduced risk of development of dehydration. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to disease risk reduction. Water, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterized. The claimed effect is “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration.”

Dehydration is a condition of body water depletion. The Panel notes that the proposed risk factors, “water loss in tissues” or “reduced water content in tissues,” are measures of water depletion and thus are measures of the disease. The Panel considers that the proposed claim does not comply with the requirements for a disease risk reduction claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. © European Food Safety Authority, 2011.

The 21 Gun Salute:

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 in November 2011 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 this week by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. And under British law, advertisers who make health claims that breach EU law can be prosecuted and face two years in jail.

What Brussels Does Best:

United Kingdom Independence Party and Member of the European Parliament Paul Nuttall said: “I had to read this four or five times before I believed it. 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. 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.”

Sources:
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1982.pdf
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063031/Dehydration-EU-says-CANT-claim-drinking-water-stops-body-drying-out.html

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