Don’t drink the bottled water, it’s bad for the environment. That is the first thing I thought of last week when Yleem sent me a news article on a European Union study that water does not prevent dehydration. No, it was not in the National Enquirer. Might as well be.
As of the publication of this European Union (EU) report, it seems that if your company sells bottled water and makes a claim to the contrary, you could be fined or imprisoned for up to two years. You read correctly, fined or jailed for saying that water will hydrate.
I am not sure what is worse. The conclusions of this EU study or the fact that Eurocrats wasted taxpayer dollars to conduct a three year inquiry based on quackery? The EU is in the midst of a potentially life-changing economic crisis and they found time and money to waste on a battle against water? No wonder these folks are in dire economic straits.
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA):
Dehydration is a condition of body water depletion. Upon request for clarification on the risk factor, the applicant proposed “water loss in tissues” or “reduced water content in tissues” as risk factors, the reduction of which was proposed to lead to a reduction of the risk of development of dehydration. The Panel notes that the proposed risk factors are measures of water depletion and thus are measures of the disease (dehydration) … 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.
While I have no proof of this, I think this is part of an ongoing effort by Europeans to ban plastic water bottle sales. Last year the Italians banned the sale of the ubiquitous liquid delivery device along the coast of Cinque Terre. Mayorships (mainly Labor) in several English cities have banned the plastic canteen from government offices. Now they’ll make it harder to sell to the little people like you and me. It’s just a theory but spend any appreciable amount of time in Europe and you’ll see it is quite plausible.
And its not just Europe folks. We have the same type of chicanery taking place on this side of the Atlantic. The U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2008, for example, adopted a resolution to ban the evil water bottle from city government offices. San Francisco led the way and many other cities followed.
Quite some time ago the EU became a regulatory superstate gone amok. They are paying the price for it as we speak. And unless we start electing people to office that are committed to seriously reducing federal, state, and local regulatory red tape, some day, the dehydration study will be coming to a an agency near you.
When your vision of an ordered society places the government ahead of the individuals, companies, and free markets as primary change agents, regulations such as these will result, among many other bad things. While this may not be the thing of political headlines, it is at the core of the public policy debates waged these days. Be sure to press your local, state, and federal elected officials on these issues. If you do not like the answer, find someone to take their place.