Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Dihydrous Monoxide

This is not from The Onion. Seriously, this headline is not from The Onion. EU Bans Claim that Water Can Prevent Dehydration:

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.

Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.

“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.

The article kind of goes on and on for a bit about how bonkers this is, and buries the EU’s logic at the end. And why not? It’s a funny story, it’s a Sunday, and I’m sure everyone in Eurolandia is dying for something to be upset about other than “we’re all broke aaaaaaa we’re all broke,” so you can’t get too up in arms about a sensationalist headline.

The part where they stop making fun of everything and pointing out all the other times well-meaning regulations went wrong is at the bottom:

Prof. Brian Ratcliffe, spokesman for the Nutrition Society, said dehydration was usually caused by a clinical condition and that one could remain adequately hydrated without drinking water.

He said: “The EU is saying that this does not reduce the risk of dehydration and that is correct.

“This claim is trying to imply that there is something special about bottled water which is not a reasonable claim.”

Essentially, for serious dehydration, you need an IV, not a glass of water. And even for the run-of-the-mill dehydration, tap water will do just as well as bottled water. The EU objects to the presentation of this one kind of bottled water as the best cure for all forms of dehydration.