At least that's the declaration from our twilight zone entrenched governments. The European Union has just declared it is illegal to claim that drinking water can prevent dehydration.
The decision -- after three years of discussions -- results from an attempt by two German academics to test EU advertising rules which set down when companies can claim their products reduce the risk of disease.
Any seller of bottled water who does claim it can face a two-year jail sentence.
It appears that dehydration is now considered a clinical condition, which means that doctors and drug companies will take over the right to "treat it."
The academics asked for a ruling on a convoluted statement which, in short, claimed that water could reduce dehydration.
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 EU has been progressively tightening the noose when it comes to non-medical health claims for products. This, of course, is to protect drug companies against competition.
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‚Äôs bodies drying out, was given final approval this week by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Yesterday, Tory MEP Roger Helmer said: ‘This is stupidity writ large. The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are worrying about the obvious qualities of water. If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project, then this is it.’
Jon Rappoport from nomorefakenews.com suggested a brilliant pilot study for 50 of these EU bureaucrats. "Divide them up into two groups. Put both groups in a chamber that registers humidity of zero for six days, without liquids of any kind, and then, after letting them out, give half of them H2O and the other half hard stale cake. See which group fares better. When the obvious results come in, decide why water made a positive difference.....well, you see, it wasn't hydration. It was waterization, which is distinctly different."
The decision was being hailed as the daftest Brussels edict since the EU sent down laws on how bendy bananas should be.
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.’
The statement on which the eminent EU experts ruled claimed that ‘regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance.’
However 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.
Dr Andreas Hahn and Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer of the Institute for Food Science and Human Nutrition at Hanover Leibniz University said they were unhappy but not surprised.
‘We fear there is something wrong in the state of Europe,’ Professor Hahn said.
He added that the academics had been trying to test the working of EU food and advertising rules.
‘It was free of charge, there was no apparent red tape attached and it gave food business operators, whom we regularly advise, a chance to advertise their products in a new way,’ he added. ‘We thought we should give it a try and see what would happen.
‘But over almost four years, it became clear that the procedure was anything but straightforward. Any company depending on the claim would long have gone out of business. What is our reaction to the outcome? Let us put it this way: We are neither surprised nor delighted.’
He said: ‘The European Commission is wrong; it should have authorised the claim. That should be more than clear to anyone who has consumed water in the past, and who has not?’