European hydration claims confusion
In the summer, we have the silly season when minor news items become headlines because not much else is going on. In the winter, we have the pantomime season of comedy theatre when the audience has to shout “Oh, no it isn’t!” whenever an actor says “Oh, yes it is!”
This appears to be what happened last week when British and other newspapers printed front pages making statements like “EU says water is not healthy”. In fact, all the stories merely reflected each newspaper’s already well known position on wider European politics.
Here is my simple summary of what really happened:
• Europe rightly wanted a common basis for making food health claims.
• It set up a process and thousands of submissions were made.
• Some of the supporting science was strong and some didn’t meet specific technical requirements.
• Lots of claims were rejected, but many may be re-submitted after further research.
• Some water claims were approved.
• One particular hydration submission by two professors rather than by a food producer, designed to test the limits of the process, was rebuffed.
• This rejection is of no great consequence.
• The body that rejected it already has hydration guidelines in place and these are clear as well as sensible.
End of story ? I doubt it.
If you’d like a more detailed analysis, the best I’ve seen so far is on foodnavigator.com