EU officials have concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove a previously undisputed fact. Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim that their water can reduce the risk of dehydration and will face a two year sentence if they defy the rule, which comes into force in the UK next month. Those opposed to the new rule claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense.
Conservative Roger Helmer said, "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."
German professors Dr Andreas Hahn and Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer, who advise food manufacturers on how to advertise their products, asked the European Commission if the claim could be made on labels. They compiled what they assumed was an uncontroversial statement in order to test new laws, which allow products to claim they can reduce the risk of disease, subject to EU approval.
They applied for the right to state that "regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration" as well as preventing a decrease in performance.
Ukip MEP 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.
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Read more: The Sunday Telegraph