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German Court Rules Hangovers a ‘Sickness’ Just as Oktoberfest Begins

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FRANKFURT – A German court has ruled hangovers are an “illness”, in a case against the maker of an anti-hangover drink. The ruling comes as Oktoberfest celebrations kick off in Germany.

The firm was taken to court in Frankfurt after being accused of making illegal health claims about its anti-hangover shots and drinks powders.

In its ruling, the court said illnesses included even small or temporary changes to the body’s normal state, the BBC reports. Food products, including drinks, cannot be marketed as being able to prevent or treat illnesses, it added.

“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 superior regional court’s ruling said.

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

This, it said, includes the tiredness, nausea and headaches commonly associated with hangovers – and which the company, which was not named in the ruling, claimed its shots and powders could cure.

The ruling comes just days after the annual Oktoberfest beer festival kicked off in Munich.

Germany is famous for many things. Oktoberfest and a national love of beer top the list frequently.

Beer flows Oktoberfest Opens in Germany

Today, Oktoberfest Beer Festival runs for 16 days from mid-September to the first weekend in October. It is considered the largest public festival in the world.

The first keg was tapped, and the beer started flowing 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 Beer Festival ends on Oct. 6.

Some 600 police officers and hundreds of security guards are tasked with keeping order around the many, often intoxicated visitors. Around 50 doctors are on call for those with health problems at Oktoberfest. There’s a special security area where women can find protection from harassment.

E-scooters, which were legalized in Germany earlier this year, are banned inside and around the Oktoberfest grounds. Traffic controls were established outside to prevent drunken driving after the party’s over.

As in previous years, beer prices were up again at Germany’s Oktoberfest. A liter mug costing up to 11.80 euros ($13) — a 30-cent increase over last year.