After a three-year investigation that is the conclusion reached by a team of European Union scientists. The case began as a trial by two German scientists of the EU's strict advertising rules about what claims companies could make about their products.
Professor Brian Ratcliffe of the Nutritional Society claimed dehydration was usually caused by a clinical condition and that one could remain adequately hydrated without drinking water. "The EU is saying that this does not reduce the risk of dehydration and that is correct. This claim is trying to imply that there is something special about bottled water which is not a reasonable claim," he said.
European lawmakers objected strenuously to the ruling though. Member of parliament 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."
Guardian science writer Martin Robbins attempts to explain the ludicrous sounding ruling, "If I drink half a pint of bottled water while running through a desert in the blistering sun, I'll still end up dehydrated, and if I drink several bottles today, that won't prevent me from dehydrating tomorrow."
Twenty one European Union-appointed scientists announced their findings after meeting in Parma, Italy. Anyone who falsely labels water products with dehydration claims could face two years in prison.
What do you think of the ruling?