Highland Spring vows to defy EU rule on water labelling

British bottled water producer Highland Spring has refused to comply with a new EU ruling which bans manufacturers from stating that drinking water can prevent dehydration.

According to a report in The Telegraph, Highland Spring has described the edict as ‘ridiculous’ and vowed to not to bow to the threat of prosecution.

The company, based in Blackford, Perthshire, makes the claim in promotional material on its website. But following a three-​year investigation, Brussels officials concluded that such a statement could not be proven and thus banned it, meaning that anyone using the claim could face a two-​year jail term.

Highland Spring chief executive Les Montgomery said: “It is right to mock this EU directive, which is based on a legal technicality and just another typical example of Brussels bureaucracy.

“It is a ridiculous ruling when we are in the midst of the current euro crisis. Everyone knows water is essential for health.

“As far as we are concerned we will continue to champion bottled water as one of the healthiest drinks available and the only beverage you need to hydrate as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

The company was applauded for refusing to enforce the latest EU regulation. UK Independence Party deputy leader MEP Paul Nuttall said: “I applaud Highland Spring for their robust and entirely reasonable stand. British business should not be cowed by the idiocies of Brussels and we in this country should support them.”

The Department of Health has urged common sense to be exercised but refused to rule out the potential for prosecutions in the UK should the rules be broken.

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