Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Foreign Affairs

Brussels Bureaucrats on Water

Deciding to look beyond massive problems like the increasingly possible extermination of the Euro, the collapse of the Eurozone economies, and the lack of soul and purpose being felt at the heart of the experiment in European union, the European Commission is rolling out a brand new set of regulations to be imposed upon its member states as laws. After three years of study and who knows how much funding, Brussels has dictated that water bottle producers may no longer say on their labels that water helps hydrate the body. If a producer claims this, they can face a fine and a two-year jail sentence. The British are, understandably, rather perturbed by this latest move by Brussels' bureaucrats, particularly since the British Department of Health recommends drinking 1.2 liters of water a day to avoid dehydration. However, if the European Commission commands that water is no longer a way to stay hydrated, then it must be so, conventional wisdom aside. I suppose there is no more reason, then, to have athletes drink water at European sporting events. This is obviously another reason to be skeptical about allowing a further transfer of power to the Brussels offices of the European Union.
Categories > Foreign Affairs

Discussions - 1 Comment

Makes more sense than the Brittish Department of Health recommendation of 1.2 l/d

Korey Stinger drank more water than that(even before his death the NFLhad wet bulb heat advisories(factoring humidity), and frequent hydration breaks) and he still died of heat stroke/dehydration.

A set figure for water is bad advice which could engender reliance and is not narrowly tailored to specific conditions.

In some sense it is part of the blessings of capitalism that this is a good decision. There are now a host of products that are more effecient than water at combating the medical condition of dehydration, and in fact we are past the days of salt tablets.

Gatorade itself markets several different water types and products more narrowly tailored to combating dehydration.

Kellogg's has "Special K2O Protein Water"

In my opinion it is more of a Intellectual Property issue, if it is just "water" why is it sold as "Evian", "Dasani", "Perrier" excetera?

The product is marketed under a trademark precisely to command a higher price than the "Commodity" water.

In addition not all water is created equal, so how do you determine which water is best for combating "dehydration"?

Perrier will claim that it has diffused sodium and potassium citrate from mineral springs which help regulate Ph levels. Kellog's will claim X, Y, Z.

To combat dehydration you have not only a host water derivatives, see (Kellogs, Gatorade et al), but also the old fashioned saline drip/IV and a host of products many of which have patents.

Water not just a commodity (see Idiocracy where a Gatorade like product is used to irrigate plants!)

But no one doubts that water is good for hydration, for irrigation, for brewing beer, for showers and baths, for swimming, and even in a pinch for cooling down a car with radiator problems.

On the other hand you aren't supposed to drink pool water (not that it would kill you). In fact if you are Bear Grylls you can even drink urine and squeeze moisture from Yak eyebulls and elephant dung. We aren't talking survivor here, or even the full array of possible substitutes.

Truth is you could brew beer with just about any yeast (or water), but the quality of the end product is dependent upon the ingredients.

So this is just a debate over what can be claimed, and it isn't a local municipality saying that you can drink its water (which would again be subject to various lead, bio-mass standards.) But rather a determination that bottled water(marketed under a trademark) not be allowed to make claims that it is fit for the treatment of medical conditions (dehydration).

Also the "bureaucrats" both in the U.S. and in Europe have narrowly tailored subject matter jurisdiction/mandates.

The Brussels offices of the European Union, essentially have "commerce clause" powers, and little else. Exactly how a product is commoditized, or how a commodity is "trademarked/differentiated" makes the EU the EU, thus when I say that Turkey is close to being an EU member, I mean that they have addopted and signed unto legistlation that provides a uniform standard on say Copyright (Berne) (which the U.S. has also addopted).

The EU has its own UCC which is similar in many respects to the american Commercial Code, and Turkey essentially has the Commercial Code of the EU which has facillitated exports of electronics from Turkey to the EU making Turkey essentially the European Hong Kong(which addopted many provisions of the UCC).

Here are some policy considerations:

1) bottled water is not vastly superior to tap water for hydration purposes, but may or may not vary according to label/brand.

2) bottled water causes a polution and landfill problems. (a french brand, has built an ad campaign around this).

3) the intersection of trademark and "commodity" is complex, you have to draw lines somewhere and it seems reasonable to prevent health claims from being used in a marketing campaign for a branded product, that both claims to be water, yet superior or unique to water.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/17166