The European Union is Doomed

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 20, 2011

I repeat: Doomed.

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.

Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.

“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.

“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”

It is bad enough that the Eurozone is in crisis. It is even worse that the officials who might be charged with getting the Eurozone out of crisis involve themselves in the study of settled issues, and at the conclusion of those studies, show that they have learned nothing whatsoever.

  • David Jones

    I would suggest that the EU was always doomed. Do you really want to build a single political entity (with a proposed constitution based on bureaucratic micromanagement instead of a broader, more idealistic set of guidelines) out of such a divergent cultures, economies, and priorities with no overriding sense of national loyalty to bind them together? We have a similar set of difficulties in the US (maybe a little less of the cultural disparity, although that’s debatable), but it was something that we grew into while also growing in our sense of national identity.

    The EU did it all backwards in trying to shoehorn all those different states into a box and hoping that everyone would grow into a sense of loyalty to the union. The problems have been exposed for a long time, but it didn’t matter so much before economies hit a true crisis.

    I would also suggest that many of the architects truly hoped to create the balance to US economic and political power without at all understanding why and how the US ended up being so successful. This story highlights a wonderful example in the apparent belief that bureaucracy cures all ills in the EU and is also a great example of their apparent belief that bureaucracy doesn’t need to bend will to logic or common sense. 

    Now, all that said, I wonder how much of this hinges on a belief that selling bottled water is evil?

  • Anonymous

    Like a lot of “barmy Eurocrats” stories that you read in the British press – the ruling on the curvature of bananas f ex – this one isn’t really true either. If you read the specific text, the ruling refers to the health claim that “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance”.
    Which, unless you’re literally trekking across a desert, it doesn’t.
    The ruling is aimed at the bogus idea that you need to drink so-and-so many cups of water daily even if you’re no thirsty – a fad based on no scientific evidence whatsoever.

    Should the EU be in the business of regulating advertising claims at all? Good question, but the fact is that, for the time being, that’s exactly what the treaties say they’re supposed to be doing.

    PDF : http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1982.pdf

    • Christian Southwick

      The Food and Nutrition Board and the Institute of Sciences, of the National Academy of Sciences, has issued a report regardin “Dietary Refrerence Intakes for Water and Electrolytes (e.g., potassium, sodium, chloride).” Tje report notes that “[t]he [adequate intake] for total water intake for young men and women (ages 19 to 30 years) is 3.7 L and 2.7 L per day, respectively.”  (p.73)  The report also notes that an adeuqate intake ”for total water is set to prevent deleterious, primarily acute, effects of dehydration, which include metabolic and functional abnormalities.”  (Id.)  The idea that one needs to drink so much water per day would appear to be based on adequate science (as well as common sense).

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