At a time when all European efforts should be concentrated on preventing “Economic Armegeddon”, the European Commission is instead concentrating on bringing in a law to prohibit bottled water manufacturers from claiming that their product helps to stop dehydration.
Talk about moving the deckchairs around on the Titanic.
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.’
And to make matters even more surreal, 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.
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.
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.
‘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?
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Read more of this article at the Daily Mail.