Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to water and reduced risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Here it is – official – the official EU text telling us we cannot advertise that water prevents dehydration and the concomitant effects of dehydration.

____________________

EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)

EFSA Journal 2011;9(2):1982  [7 pp.].  doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.1982

Article

Abstract

Following an application from Prof. Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer and Prof. Dr. Andreas Hahn, submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Germany, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to water and reduced risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to disease risk reduction. The food, water, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect is “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 defines reduction of disease risk claims as claims which state that the consumption of a food “significantly reduces a risk factor in the development of a human disease”. Thus, for reduction of disease risk claims, the beneficial physiological effect results from the reduction of a risk factor for the development of a human disease. The Panel notes that dehydration was identified as the disease by the applicant. Dehydration is a condition of body water depletion. The Panel notes that the proposed risk factors, “water loss in tissues” or “reduced water content in tissues”, are measures of water depletion and thus are measures of the disease. The Panel considers that the proposed claim does not comply with the requirements for a disease risk reduction claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

Summary

Following an application from Prof. Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer and Prof. Dr. Andreas Hahn, submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Germany, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to water and reduced risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance.

The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to disease risk reduction.

The food that is the subject of the health claim is water. The Panel considers that water is sufficiently characterised.

The claimed effect is “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance”. The Panel assumes that the target population is the general population.

The Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 defines reduction of disease risk claims as claims which state that the consumption of a food “significantly reduces a risk factor in the development of a human disease”. Thus, for reduction of disease risk claims, the beneficial physiological effect (which the Regulation requires to be shown for the claim to be permitted) results from the reduction of a risk factor for the development of a human disease.

The Panel notes that dehydration was identified as the disease by the applicant. Dehydration is a condition of body water depletion. Upon request for clarification on the risk factor, the applicant proposed “water loss in tissues” or “reduced water content in tissues” as risk factors, the reduction of which was proposed to lead to a reduction of the risk of development of dehydration. The Panel notes that the proposed risk factors are measures of water depletion and thus are measures of the disease (dehydration).

The Panel considers that the proposed claim does not comply with the requirements for a disease risk reduction claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

Keywords

Water, dehydration, performance, health claims

Panel Members

Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Hannu Korhonen, Pagona Lagiou, Martinus Løvik, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Bevan Moseley, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Stephan Strobel, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen.

Acknowledgment

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Claims: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Martinus Løvik, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.

Contact

nda@efsa.europa.eu

Type:

Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel

On request from:

Competent Authority of Germany following an application by Prof. Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer and Prof. Dr. Andreas Hahn

Question number:

EFSA-Q-2008-05014

Adopted:

28 January 2011

Published:

16 February 2011

Affiliation:

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

One Response

  1. […] EU bans food claim that water prevents dehydration – Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to water and reduced risk of deve… […]

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