Andreas Hahn, a nutritionist at Hanover Leibniz University in Germany and consultant on food product claims, was one of two scientists who asked the commission for a ruling on bottled water. He told The Daily Telegraph the ruling is a bad one.
"What is our reaction to the outcome? Let us put it this way: We are neither surprised nor delighted," he said. "The European Commission is wrong; it should have authorized the claim. That should be more than clear to anyone who has consumed water in the past, and who has not? We fear there is something wrong in the state of Europe."
Hahn and a colleague, Moritz Hagenmeyer, submitted what they thought would be an uncontroversial statement that water consumption can help prevent dehydration.
The ruling provided more fodder for euro-skeptics in Britain. Roger Helmer, a Conservative member of the European Parliament, called it "stupidity writ large."
"The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly paid, highly pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true," he told the Telegraph.