Beer purity law of 1516German brewers have sent a letter to various officials in Berlin to voice their concern that shale gas exploitation via fracking could endanger the water supply on which they depend, and thus violate the venerable "Beer Purity Law" (Reinheitsgebot) of 1516, the world's first food purity law. They ask the German government for guarantees that their high-quality water supply will be protected, something that the government has not done so far, they say.
On the status of fracking in Germany, De Spiegel writes:
Attempts at introducing legislation on fracking in Berlin have been postponed several times. In mid-May, Merkel's cabinet agreed on a proposal to ban fracking in catchment areas for lakes, such as Lake Constance in southern Germany, that are drinking water sources. But several areas would be exempt from the ban.
Berlin wants to develop a law that would define the conditions under which the technology could be used in Germany. The fracking procedure is used to release shale gas from stone deposits deep in the earth. The process is controversial because, among other reasons, it involves the use of chemicals that could contaminate the water supply.
If you are curious about the beer purity law, here's the whole story.
Via Der Spiegel