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Water not proven to treat dehydration – results of a 3 year study.

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:    And I thought the FDA was ridiculous!

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

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.”

Europe’s ruling on water preventing dehydration – another ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’ moment

By  Politics Last updated: November 21st, 2011

 

Brussels bureaucrats have ruled over drinking water (Photo: Alamy)

How will history students of the future – assuming anyone in England studies history, which is not a given – remember our era? How will they caricature us in the way that we caricature Victorians as being sexually uptight, or those before them as port-sodden rakes and gin-soaked paupers?

Considering the way we look at the pre-Reformation Age, with its theology-dominated academia and its lethal wars waged over what seems today like the most unimaginably pointless of reasons, I imagine it will be the bureaucracy that people recall.

The European Union, in particular, will not be remembered for its philosophical flaws, nor its anti-democratic methods, nor the economic weakness of a currency launched with all the hubris of the Titanic, but the mind-numbing tedium of its bureaucratic machinery. I would say that this will be remembered long after its leaders are forgotten, but most of the EU’s leaders are forgotten even in office (in the 21st century the faces of the people who rule us are probably less familiar to the average person than Ethelred II was to his subjects).

This is already how the EU is viewed, with many people more familiar with its rulings on banana shapes and weights and measures than with its more serious faults.

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

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.

As always, the Guardian concludes that this is just another example of the British media distorting the truth, Martin Robbins criticising the “daft hysteria” in the way the Express reported the story.

Robbins, however, seems to think that “this isn’t really a rule so much as a piece of advice”, and mixes up the advice of an EU agency (which has no legal status) and the mandatory, EU-wide regulation that follows and becomes law. So he does not link to the Regulation in the Official Journal, which states: “This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Done at Brussels, 16 November 2011.”

Now personally I have no opinion on whether drinking water can prevent dehydration, at least not one anywhere near as informed as the 21 (yes – twenty-one!) scientists who met in Parma to rule on this issue. According to Wikipedia, there are three types of dehydration: “hypotonic or hyponatremic (primarily a loss of electrolytes, sodium in particular), hypertonic or hypernatremic (primarily a loss of water), and isotonic or isonatremic (equal loss of water and electrolytes)”. So one could argue either way.

But here is the point: even if the ruling was technically correct – whether “water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control” – it was incredibly, mind-numbingly petty, of no benefit to anyone, and an expensive task over semantics that no accountable bureaucracy would have undertaken. And this at a time when the European economy is falling to bits.

It’s debatable whether medieval Europeans really did debate how many angels could dance on the head of a pin – many historians think it a myth, rather like Victorians and their erotic chair legs – but the inane and insane logic of the EU bureaucracy certainly is real.

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