The three opinions were delivered on Friday last week in the fourth batch of article 13 general function health claims.
Article 13 water winners and loser
The two claims to receive a positive verdict were “maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions” and “maintenance of normal thermoregulation”. Meanwhile, the claim that water is a “basic requirement of all living things” was rejected by EFSA.
Regarding the first claim, the scientific panel said a cause and effect relationship has been established between water consumption and “maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions”.
And giving the green light to the second claim, EFSA concluded that “water is particularly important for thermoregulation.” It said dehydration, by reducing sweating and skin blood flow, can result in increased body temperature.
In the case of the both positive opinions, EFSA said drinking at least 2 litres of water a day is needed to obtain the claimed effects to work.
As for the rejected claim, EFSA said the claim that water is a “basic requirement of all living things” was too general. The panel said: “The claimed effect is not sufficiently defined and no further details were given in the proposed wording.”
Commenting on the rejected claim, EFBW spokesperson Yasmin Kaderbhoy told BeverageDaily.com that the trade body may “possibly revise the dossier.” She said plans for the next stage are “under discussion”.
Overall the bottled water industry came off better than many others in the latest batch of article 13 opinions that again saw a lot more losers than winners. Click here to read a full breakdown of the opinions on our sister site NutraIngredients.com.
Article 14 water claim rejection
And water came off better under article 13 than it did under article 14 - which relates to disease reduction.
At the end of February, two German professors, Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer and Dr Andreas Hahn, told NutraIngredients.com it is “more than likely that we will sue” after EFSA rejected their water hydration claim.
They had put forward the claim that: “Regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration and of concomitant decrease of performance.”
Patricia Fosselard, Secretary General of EFBW, said the reason the dossier was rejected was not because of the lack of scientific grounds, but rather the choice of legal basis.
Fosselard said: “The reason for the dismissal of the German claim is linked to the fact that it did not relate to the reduction of an illness in the sense of the relevant provision. It is therefore the choice of legal basis (Article 14 instead of Article 13) which justified the dismissal and not the absence of scientific evidence).”