Regulation of the Day 198: Talking about Water

In a ruling so dumb that only a panel of intellectuals could have written it, the EU has decided that companies may not claim that water cures dehydration. Dehydration occurs when there is not enough water in the body.

This decision was not reached lightly:

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 this week by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Not everyone is on board, though:
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.’

He added: ‘Then they make this judgment law and make it clear that if  anybody dares sell water claiming that it is effective against dehydration they  could get into serious legal bother.

‘This makes the bendy banana law look positively sane.’

You heard him right. The EU regulates the curvature of bananas.

I’d write more about the water ruling’s free speech implications and how indicative it is of Brussels’ attitude towards commerce, but there’s really no need to. This regulation is its own reductio ad absurdum.