EU law criticised by business man

A CARRICKMACROSS businessman says new EU legislation relating the advertising of bottled water does not appear to make sense.

A CARRICKMACROSS businessman says new EU legislation relating the advertising of bottled water does not appear to make sense.

Padraig McEneaney, proprietor of Celtic Pure, which is based in Corcreagh in Co Monaghan, says that scientific consensus contradicts new EU legislation which is says you can’t advertise water as preventing dehydration.

Following a three year investigation EU officials have come to the bizarre conclusion that there is no evidence that water prevents dehydration, which most people would have presumed was common sense.

Speaking to the Monaghan Democrat Mr Eneaney said: “Experts right across the board, be it in sports science, to doctors and industry experts will state that water is vital to avoid dehydration.

“All the evidence shows this. Sports scientists have long recognised the benefit of being properly hydrated and recommend taking on water in the days preceeding a major sporting event.”

Bottled water manufacturers are now banned from making such claims and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the dictate.

“We don’t make any direct reference to daily water consumption. Our product is sold on the back of its purity, so this any new laws in this respect will have no effect on our labelling.”

A pair of German professors who advise food manufacturers on how to advertise their products, asked the European Commission if the claim could be made on labels.

After a investigation the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) refused to approve the statement.

Dehydration is defined as a shortage of water in the body – but the European Food Standards Authority decided the statement could not be allowed.

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.

The Parma gathering ruled: ‘The panel considers that the proposed claim does not comply with the requirements for a disease risk reduction claim.’

It declared that shortage of water in the body was just a symptom of dehydration.