I used to enjoy reading the "Onion" a few decades ago. The stories were outrageous but with just enough plausibility to make them outright hilarious. These days, however, with the Onion having gone mainstream with a Internet TV channel to boot I have lost complete interest. It's not that the Onion has changed, it's as good as ever, but because the world has changed. The real news is more fantastic than any made up headline the Onion could come up with. I know this to be true because the mainstream media has more than once been fooled by "Onion" stories and reported them as true. Yeah, they looked pretty silly with onion all over their face.
Today I read with amazement in The Telegraph of London that the EU has banned the claim that water can prevent dehydration.
EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration
EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was
no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.
Wow. That even makes my stupid headline seem brilliant. A three year investigation? I think a class of first graders could have come up with that in two. Before you think it can't happen here in America consider that the EPA has declared the trace gas CO2 ( an element necessary for life on Earth) a pollutant. The lack of common sense knows no boundaries.
Many Europeans are questioning the usefulness (or is it the uselessness) of the EU in general. With the problems the common currency - the Euro - has been causing of late the whole notion of the European Union is in question.
When one digs down into the minutiae of this issue we find that the German scientists who made the claim that water can prevent dehydration filed it wrong, and they did so knowingly. They were openly testing the new laws which allow products to claim they can reduce the risk of
disease, now subject to EU approval.
So then the claim had to be rejected by EFSA because it was filed under the
wrong legal provision (Article 14 of Regulation 1924/2006/EC instead of
Article 13). In short, Article 14 deals with diseases and illnesses
whereas dehydration was not regarded by EFSA as a disease.
Still, this could have been made clear in the ruling (and the newspaper article) and the issue could have never been brought into the bright light. Instead the claim is rejected outright leaving the impression that morons are in charge. This doesn't make the scientists look stupid, when presented like this after a 3 year investigation it does make the ruling authority look like imbeciles.
Three years ago a simple rejection of the case as being filed incorrectly would have prevented this whole affair. What this has done having been handled this way brings to mind a preposterous (now overturned) ban on curvy bananas and bent cucumbers. Sometimes government is needed to protect the safety of the public from misleading claims and unsafe products, however, preventing the declaration of water preventing dehydration and banning bent cucumbers will not save the public from risk. It will however put common sense in jeopardy.