EU latest: water does not prevent dehydration

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Water Efsa

Dehydrated? Don't rely on water, advise EFSA scientists
Dehydrated? Don't rely on water, advise EFSA scientists
Drink manufacturers can no longer claim that water can prevent dehydration following a ruling from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Fuelling criticism of EFSA’s decision-making progress, the authority’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies has disallowed a water related health claim. The banned claim was: “The regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of con-comitant decrease of performance.”

The panel’s verdict hinged on its distinction between “water loss in tissues​” and “reduced water content in tissues​”.


The EFSA scientists decided that “water loss in tissues​” and “reduced water content in tissues​” are not risk factors, but measures of water depletion. As such, they are measures of the condition dehydration. Consequently, they concluded: “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.”

Conservative MEP Roger Helmer told The Telegraph​: “The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.”

National Health Service guidelines advise Britons to drink at least 1.2 litres per day. Drinking water helps to avoid dehydration, it advises.

The EFSA ruling​ follows a three-year investigation.

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1 comment

Nothing like undermining your credibility

Posted by jeff,

No wonder consumers keep getting dumber and dumber. Although I do have to say that a claim asserting prevention of a "co-concomitant decrease in performance" is also one of the dumbest claims ever attempted. It's water folks, let's not try to sell it like a magic elixir.

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