I'll drink to that! German court rules that hangovers are officially an 'illness'

The pints of beer are pictured at the opening day of the 186th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
The ruling was made in a court case against the supplier of a supplement which claimed to be a hangover cure. (Reuters)

A German court has ruled that a hangover is an illness after a food supplement company marketed one of its products as a hangover cure.

The state court in Frankfurt ruled in a verdict released on Monday that marketing by the defendant, which it did not identify, violated a ban on attributing to food products the ability to prevent, treat or heal illnesses.

It rejected an appeal against a lower court’s similar verdict.

Judges found that an illness should be defined broadly in the interest of protecting people’s health, according to a court statement.

People attend the opening day of the 186th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
It comes as the 186th Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich over the weekend. (Reuters)

“Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property,” the ruling said.

“By an illness, one should understand even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body."

That, they said, includes headaches and other symptoms that result from consuming alcohol, “a harmful substance”.


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The ruling comes as the 186th Oktoberfest got underway Saturday in the southern German city of Munich.

Around 6 million beer lovers from around the world are expected at the festival in Munich before the Oktoberfest ends on Oct. 6.

Some 600 police officers and hundreds of security guards are tasked with keeping order around the many, often intoxicated visitors.

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