The Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), one of the many committees that comprise the Codex Alimentarius (means “food rules” in Latin), met last week in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.
And while I don’t want to dwell on some of the recommendations that came out of last week’s meeting (it only depresses me), I did think it appropriate that I share with you a wonderful article about Codex written by a friend of mine, award-winning investigative reporter, Peter Byrne.
Make no mistake, Codex is a threat to health freedom and dietary supplements and I urge you to read the article below.
If you use vitamin and mineral supplements for health, you might want to fly over to Rome, Italy and crash the July 4-9 meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a little-known international body that wields immense power over the global food market. Should the Codex Commission approve the Draft Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Supplements on its agenda, 300 of the 420 basic vitamin and mineral products commonly used by European consumers will be banned from manufacture and trade inside the European Community.
The ban will seriously impact the export business of U.S.-based supplement companies and could eventually result in similar product restrictions being implemented here. The Codex story has received almost no attention in the corporate press and media; although badly garbled versions of the tale zing about in cyberspace, confusing many readers with conspiracy-laden mixtures of fact and fantasy. Which is not to blame the authors of these emails, since the Codex Alimentarius (Latin for "food code") Commission is so pathologically bureaucratic that its real intentions, and the probable consequences of its actions, are difficult to discern when wading through thousands of pages of jargon in its public reports. For example, it is not true that over-the-counter vitamins and minerals will be banned in the United States after August 2005.
There are so many self-interested players in the "L'affair Codex," that it is nearly impossible to get a straight answer about what it all means from any single participant. It is possible to piece together the basic story from public records, and by listening to what the various interest groups have to say (with several tons of heavily iodized salt). The bottom line of the story is that the emerging Codex regulations on vitamins and mineral supplements have almost nothing to do with promoting human health, and everything to do with facilitating the profits of multinational food and chemical corporations.
The Five Major Codex Players
From the point of view of the American health consumer, there are five major players: the Codex Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/U.S. Department of Agriculture. All of these institutions are involved in formulating rules and regulations to govern the production and distribution of food supplements. It is easy to conflate their separate, but related, institutional efforts. The fate of food supplements is not dependent upon any one of these institutions, but upon how they interact as a whole. The five organizations are working syncretically to transform the supplements market, not in favor of the consumer, but in favor of certain multinational corporations that stand to benefit from the resulting restriction of trade under the guise of promoting "free trade."
The History of Codex and Their Guidelines
Codex was created in 1962 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) to "harmonize" world food trade. The several hundred regular "participants" at Codex meetings are drawn from the ranks of government regulatory agencies; food, chemical, and pharmaceutical corporations; industry trade groups; and non-profit "watchdogs" with various political agendas. To date, Codex has established 250 sets of rules regarding the manufacture and distribution of a variety of foods, from sardines to peanuts to pineapples, and including food additives and infant formula. (It is illuminating to learn that Codex has approved the use of cyclamates and saccharine—artificial sweeteners long banned in the U.S. as health risks—as well as Monsanto's aspartame.) After more than a decade of wrangling over political aims and technical details—far removed from the public eye—the commission will likely approve the Draft Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in July.
The Codex guidelines begin: "Most people who have access to a balanced diet can usually obtain all the nutrients they require from their normal diet." Vitamin and mineral food supplements are defined as concentrated forms of nutrients whose purpose is to supplement the normal diet when the vitamin and mineral intake from food is insufficient. From the point of view of universal healthcare, deciding exactly which nutrients, and how much of each, constitute a "normal" or a "balanced" diet is a large variable when attempting to prescribe a single standard across hundreds of dietary cultures.
But Codex is not about health. The guidelines define the minimum level of supplement use as 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) suggested by the manufacturer. Maximum levels of use, or upper safe levels, are not to be calculated by reference to RDAs, but, and this is important, by "scientific risk assessment" based on generally accepted scientific data, taking into consideration, as appropriate, the varying degrees of sensitivity of different consumer groups and the daily intake of vitamins and minerals from other dietary sources.
The key phrase here is "scientific risk assessment." This investigatory technique is, according to many experts, more properly reserved for testing safe usage levels for chemicals and substances known to be inherently toxic or poisonous, not for evaluating nutrients that are known to be generally safe as ordinarily ingested. This emphasis in the guidelines, according to expert critics, closes the door on the possibility of setting upper safe limits based upon the benefits of using a particular nutrient. And by setting upper limits based upon the sensitivity of the most sensitive group—say, pregnant women who probably should not use a lot of Vitamin A—the legitimate needs of the rest of the population for healthy doses of Vitamin A are ignored; indeed, the masses may be forbidden to use more Vitamin A than pregnant women, except, perhaps, by a doctor's prescription. The "safe" upper limit paradigm is further driven downwards by the admonition that it be reduced in accord with the amount of, say, Vitamin A obtained from a normal diet. Under Codex, labels will advise the consumer not to exceed the maximum daily amount; and that the product "should be stored out of the reach of young children," (replacing a sentence in an earlier draft that required containers to be child-proof).
The Codex Commission, which is composed of voting representatives of most of the world's nations, has not yet set the exact maximum doses for vitamins and mineral supplements, but it is looking to the European Union Parliament, and other arms of the FAO/WHO for "scientific risk assessment" guidance in that regard. And that is basically all that the Codex guidelines say at this time.
It is instructive at this point to take a look at the American participants at the Codex Commission, i.e. public and private sector agencies, corporations, and organizations that actively participate in the commission's deliberations and wield considerable influence upon issues in which they are acknowledged to be "expert." Staff from the Dept. of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration represent the official position of the United States at Codex meetings. They are deeply involved in setting global standards, as are the staffs of food and drug regulatory agencies in most industrialized countries. (Codex funds "scholarships" for representatives from third world countries, many of which lack any regulatory bodies, but are still subject to WTO agreements and are affected by Codex regulations.)
From the corporate sector, official Codex participants include Amway Corp., Wyeth Pharmaceutical Co., DSM Nutritional Products, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Bristol Myers Squibb Co., Nestle USA, Herbalife International, and a trade group called the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). The latter's Web site features a "Myth vs. Facts" on Codex, which, to be blunt, is a self-serving spin that underplays the negative ramifications of the guidelines on mom & pop supplement businesses. CRN's membership includes Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill Health & Food Technologies, Bayer Corp., Wyeth Consumer Health, Weider Nutrition International Inc., Shaklee Corp., Nutraceutical Corp., Herbalife International of America, Kemin Foods, General Nutrition Centers, Inc., Cadbury Adams USA LLC, DSM Nutritional Products, Eastman Chemical Company, Mingtai Chemical LLC, and Monsanto Life Sciences Company. (A number of these corporations have several voices at the meetings, since representatives of corporate subsidiaries sit alongside participants from their parent companies. And corporate-funded lobby groups have separate voices.)
CRN had this to say about the Draft Guidelines—which it helped to write and of which it approves: "We in the industry have long maintained that maximum levels set by Codex or governments for contents of vitamins and minerals in supplements should be based solely and completely on safety, not on nutritional policy in general or the RDA in particular." It is instructive that the chemical formulations for naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals are not patentable, unlike pharmaceutical formulas. And the supplement market is huge—$16 billion a year in the U.S. alone. It easy to presume that pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural concerns are working to grab market share through the back door: Codex.
Public Interest Groups
On the other side of the corporate interest equation, in theory, is the Washington D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, which along with sister non-profits from Japan and the United Kingdom has official status in the Codex proceedings. CSPI is funded by social engineering projects such as the Rockefeller Family Fund, John Merck Fund, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A spin-off from Ralph Nader's public interest organization, CSPI claims that Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B6 cause a host of horrible diseases. The non-profit, which is a quote mill for The New York Times reporters, pooh-poohs the common understanding that a variety of foods and supplements are healthy, such as soy, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. To back-up its ultra-precaution, CSPI refers to media-ballyhooed studies of antioxidants and Vitamins A & E which purport to show that these substances are bad for health. (Experts at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University say that these studies are deeply flawed, largely because they were focused upon particular at-risk sub groups, and did not take the needs of general populations into account.)
CSPI's stance supporting restrictive standards for vitamin and minerals undercuts the usefulness of an otherwise fine environmentalist tool, the Precautionary Principle, by taking the position that since a vitamin could cause harm to relatively small groups of people if improperly used, it is permissible to ban it universally, regardless of its obvious and well-documented benefits for millions of people.
Further complicating the mix of opinion massaging the medium is the Hoover Institution, which has taken the position that Codex regulations hurt "free trade," (a loosely defined, if politically useful concept that is most often employed to justify the expansionist agendas of monopoly corporations). And the Center for Consumer Freedom, a restaurant trade association set up to counter "food police lies" about the dangers of tobacco, olestra, trans fats, and obesity, frames Codex as the "global food cop." Neither of these two organizations participate in Codex.
Institute of Medicine
And then there is the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a quasi governmental body based in Washington D.C. that performs scientific studies on spec from government and private companies. It is under U.S. government contract to develop standards for vitamins and minerals that reflect the standards being considered by Codex. From the point of view of the scientific establishment, IOM is no lightweight; it is very influential at the FDA, and inside the Codex/WTO complex.
A series of IMO studies over the past half-decade assert that high-fat diets lead to obesity and heart disease; that omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid are good for health; and that there is no safe level of consumption of trans fatty acids. (Codex regulations, on the other hand, allow for trans fats in food, and consider meat to be a source of dietary fiber!) A 2000 IOM report found that Vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium are health-positive, but that ceilings should be set on their usage. IOM believes that antioxidants can be beneficial. It suggests daily intakes of 75 milligrams of Vitamin C (upper level 2,000 milligrams); 22 IU of natural Vitamin E from food (upper level 1,500 IU of a synthetic variety); 55 micrograms of selenium, (upper level 400 micrograms). Beta Carotene supplementation, IOM says, should only be used to prevent Vitamin A deficiency. Pregnant women should take B vitamins, such as folate and choline to prevent neural tube defects. IOM posits that most Americans get sufficient Vitamin B12 in their food, except for people over 50 who should use supplements. IOM says there is promising evidence that B vitamins play a role in reducing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and psychiatric disorders. The Institute recommends upper levels of B6 at 100 milligrams per day; folic acid at 1,000 micrograms; and being wary of the rest of the B vitamins.
On the one hand, IOM has a higher regard for the health benefits of supplements than does Codex officialdom, which is focused upon risk. On the other hand, IOM is tending in the opposite direction of many knowledgeable health practitioners who typically recommend larger doses. For example, the medical doctors and nutritionists staffing Santa Rosa, California-based Farmacopia suggest, based on numerous studies and years of practice, a daily Vitamin C intake of 500-1,000 milligrams; Vitamin E intake of 400-800 IU; Vitamin A intake of 2,500-5,000 IU; Beta Carotene at 15 milligrams; and regular doses of the B vitamins, depending on need. Farmacopia's well-researched protocols spell out possible dangers from overdosing, such as nausea, diarrhea, and fingernail loss. However, they do not throw out entire nutrient groups, or suggest upper limit doses for whole populations based upon possible dangers to the most at-risk groups.
In reality, IOM's protocols are closer to Farmacopia's than to the more restrictive protocols supported by the ultra-precautionary forces at the Codex Commission. And this is, in part, because the IOM studies were funded by many of the same multinational corporations that are monitoring the Codex deliberations to make sure that government and non-profit bureaucrats do not go too far and end up liquidating the marketability of their supplement products. The IOM studies referred to above were funded not just by the U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services, but also by a variety of companies with varying degrees of interest in influencing Codex to set dose limits favorable to their respective business plans. These include Daiichi Fine Chemicals Inc., Kemin Foods Inc., M&M/Mars, Mead Johnson Nutrition Group, Nabisco Foods Group, Roche Vitamins Inc., U.S. Borax, and Weider Nutrition Group. The FDA, as we shall see, is now moving in the opposite direction of the less-restrictive IOM recommendations. It funded a new IOM study, the results of which reflect that sea-change in supplement policy.
Codex is nothing if not complicated. Its deliberations are fraught with competition and collusion by profit-driven companies and the non-profits that they fund to promote particular ideologies to justify particular business aims. Everybody at Codex is focused on grabbing the brass ring: as much market control as they can pinch off for themselves and their allies by tailoring the standards to fit their marketing needs. At stake in all the studies, discussions, political games, legal maneuvers, and media manipulation is nothing less than the determination of which vitamins and minerals end up on the "positive list," i.e. an exclusive list of approved dietary substances that spells life and death for any number of global product lines.
The Positive List
On April 5, 2005, the Alliance for Natural Health, an association of health food manufacturers and distributors in the United Kingdom announced a victory before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the form of an opinion by Advocate General Geelhoed. The opinion will probably be adopted by the full court in June. The Alliance's victory, however, is likely to prove minor and temporary.
Here is the gist of the case. As of August 2005, dietary supplements in the European Union will be regulated by the Food Supplement Directive approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in June 2002. The directive calls for regulating vitamins and minerals by establishing a "positive list," which, in its current incarnation, includes 13 vitamin forms and 15 mineral forms. Nutrients not on the list will be banned from being sold in the EU. The approved substances are broken down by chemical composition, favoring synthetic compounds of natural forms, according to the Alliance for Natural Health. Substances not on the list include several forms of Vitamin C, natural forms of folic acid, certain antioxidants, and a range of minerals including boron, vanadium, silicon, mixed tocopherols, tocotrienols, sulphur, chelated/plant derived forms and natural forms of Vitamin E and selenium. Based on the positive list, the EU directive will effectively ban 300 of the 420 forms of vitamins and minerals present in 5,000 products currently on the UK market.
In response to the Alliance's lawsuit, the judge recommended invalidating the EU directive, but he upheld the concept of using a positive list to shape international markets, and he urged EU officials to correct what amounts to technical glitches in the wording of the directive, so that the positive list can be effectuated this summer.
Will the Existence of the Positive List Affect the American Market?
Undoubtedly, and here is how. First, in and of itself, the positive list will prohibit the importation of excluded substances and products into European Community markets. Second, the list is sure to be incorporated into the Codex guidelines for vitamins and minerals. That is because Codex is mandated to look to "accepted international standards" to determine which substances are allowed and not allowed and at what doses. It is widely accepted by informed observers that Codex will adopt the EU directive's positive list as its own standard, since there is no other internationally accepted standard.
In order for a nutrient substance to be added to the positive list, a comprehensive risk-assessment study must be performed, with favorable results submitted to the Office of the EU Communities by July 12, 2005. Even then, it can only remain on the positive list until 2009. These expensive scientific studies can only be undertaken by governments or corporations with deep pockets. In sum, the EU directive will likely destroy any European health supplement business which produces or sells commonly accepted vitamin and mineral products.
As for upper limit doses, the Codex Commission is looking to adopt the specifications of a study conducted by the FAO/WHO and various parties, including the Alliance for Natural Health. The study will set upper limit supplement dosage levels in the near future; and those standards, which will be based upon risk-assessment values, not health benefits, will be incorporated into the Codex Alimentarius regulations.
What does this mean for American consumers? Last year, the IOM, under contract with the FDA, issued a report called the Proposed Framework for Evaluation of Dietary Supplements. The report shifts IOM's previous focus upon health benefits to focus on scientific risk assessment. As in the Codex Guidelines, and the EU directive, IOM's report calls for safety issues to be considered as if there are no health benefits attached to the use of a vitamin or mineral. Furthermore, it recommends a method of setting maximum doses that may end up separating out ordinary usage (at relatively low levels) from prescriptive use (i.e., only medical professionals will be authorized to prescribe supplements above certain dosages in the course of medical interventions). And, as does Codex, the IOM report recommends putting the burden of supplying safety data upon industry—a strategy that has been proven not to work—see Merck's murderous mendacity about Vioxx.
The Argument for Codex
The FDA and several large US manufacturers, like DSM Nutritional Products, and Herbalife International, argue that the EU positive list directive and its doppelganger, the Codex guidelines, will not affect the ability of American consumers to use high doses of any supplement they wish to consume because the Codex guidelines and the EU directive are more restrictive than the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA); and the FDA is not adopting the positive list and its presumed low dosage standards, per se. In other words, American consumers will still be able to import European supplements because those products will be lower dosed than the current unlimited dosage levels allowed in the U.S. However, American supplement manufacturers and distributors will be locked out of the European regional markets, and the local markets of any country that adopts the Codex standards in order to benefit from trade with Europe.
Let us not forget that the same American corporations that sit on the Codex Commission as participants also wield tremendous power within the FDA and Congress. Above all, these corporations want access to—and exclusive control of—existing and emerging markets. For DSM Nutrition, for example, the Codex restrictions bring multiple benefits. They kill off small competitors, for all the reasons listed above, and also facilitate the development of two-tiered supplement products, a low dose vitamin for over the counter purchase, and a high dose, more expensive item for prescriptive use. Supplement users stuck in a Codex-controlled market will no longer be able to legally supply themselves with nutrients and doses of their own choosing; rather, they will be captive to the monopolies.
In March, the FDA observed that, "The absence of science-based Codex guidelines [in America] could adversely affect the ability of U.S. manufacturers to compete in the marketplace." This is true because the trade ministries of countries that adopt the Codex standards will repel non-Codexed products. But what the FDA did not say is that European supplement companies will no longer be able to compete in the U.S. market, because their products will be inferior to American products by fiat. And that phenomenon, under the WTO treaties that prohibit a government from "artificially" restricting "free trade," could hypothetically be construed to mean that our relatively loose FDA regulations "unfairly" restrict the ability of European producers to export to the American market, potentially forcing, under the WTO treaties, Congress to adopt Codex standards to facilitate "free trade." Whether or not it falls out like that, it is clear the FDA is moving under its own steam toward cloning the emerging Codex standards, which it helped to develop as a leading participant in commission deliberations.
A Brief Summary
To sum up so far: the Codex Commission is mostly composed of corporate officials from the agribusiness, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, and government officials that "regulate" those industries (often after or before working for those same privately-owned industries). Codex is poised to adopt a "scientific risk assessment standard" for evaluating vitamins and mineral food supplements. Due to the use of that method of analysis, as opposed to a "risk-benefit" analysis method, the Codex standard will likely incorporate the positive list of the EU directive. It may adopt upper dosage limits that are lower than RDA doses currently available in ordinary supplements. (Higher doses may later be regulated as prescription-only drugs.) In Europe, hundreds of relatively small supplement manufacturers and distributors fear that the new Codex restrictions will annihilate their businesses—leaving the field open to corporations that can afford the expense of having proprietary, synthetic supplements added to the positive list through 2009, long enough, perhaps, to ensure domination of a drastically reshaped market.
The Codex restrictions ensure that the quantity and quality of supplements that can be imported by the European market from America will diminish. But in the U.S. there is a government-corporate propaganda campaign dedicated to assuring American consumers and small supplement producers that they are in no danger of ending up like their European counterparts. Large companies such as Herbalife International say that anyone who suggests that Americans will lose access to supplements is plying "misinformation." The company goes so far as to tell its international network of distributors that corporate HQ represents them at Codex meetings, and they will be told when, if ever, to open their mouths. In July 2003, the Consumers Union hailed the scientific risk assessment standards of Codex. American Herbal Products is slightly more perspicacious. This trade association recognizes that the WTO can, at least in theory, push the Codex standards upon Americans.
Why Is There Confusion About Codex?
One of the reasons that U.S. trade associations and consumers are confused about Codex—and why pro-Codex lobbyists, such as the FDA and the CRN, can dismiss the legitimate concerns of consumers as conspiracy theories—is because, due to the complexity of the bureaucracy at work, people have conflated the Codex Guidelines (which has no positive list, nor an upper dose limit, yet) and the EU directive (which does have a positive list, but no upper dose limit, yet). Reading the FDA's or CRN member's barrage of disclaimers about the negative impact of Codex upon the U.S., one is struck by the shared mantra that compliance with Codex is "voluntary," when, in truth, non-compliance may result in trade sanctions or expulsion from the WTO. Another popular phrase that pops up in the campaign, "science-based risk assessment," sounds nice until you realize it is a technique more aptly applied to arsenic or cyclamates, than to Vitamin E, which has known benefits, (as well as some risk if used improperly).
The fact that too much of a good thing can cause harm has been blown out of proportion by Codex proponents. For instance, a study of the effects of Vitamin E upon smokers and cancer victims has been widely publicized as "proving" that the vitamin has no positive effect on health (and may result in death); whereas dozens of unpublicized, scientifically-superior studies show that Vitamin E has many benefits (and that the negative study was deeply flawed). Or take the case of the amino acid, L-tryptophane, demonized a few years back after a genetically-engineered batch manufactured in Japan was fatally contaminated. Instead of questioning the efficacy of genetic engineering as a manufacturing strategy, or the wisdom of replacing natural substances with synthetic, proprietary goop, the pharmaceutical-regulatory establishment attacked L-tryptophane in all of its forms, many of which are beneficial. Underlying all the public relations blather, and reams of subjectivized, financially compromised studies, is the fact that world trade in food supplements is being restricted and transformed for the worse under the guise of eliminating trade restrictions and promoting health.
Enter the WTO
Contrary to rumor, Vitamin C will not be banned in the U.S. in August. But some forms of it will be banned in the EU; and a similar ban could eventually appear in the U.S., although that event is not inevitable. On the other hand, it will be much more difficult for ordinary consumers to stop this eventuality than it was for them to affect DSHEA, which was transformed by consumer pressure from a restrictive measure into its opposite. In fact, the very existence of DSHEA is used by Codex proponents as "proof" that the U.S. is protected against Codex, because DSHEA is "less restrictive" than Codex and the EU directive. That is hollow reassurance.
DSHEA is a malleable act of Congress, subject to constituent pressure. The implementing force of Codex—the WTO—is based upon an international treaty to which the United States is a party. And the WTO does not care a fig for people's health concerns. It is designed to manipulate the formation and deformation of trade barriers in favor of the strongest monopolists.
Here is how it works. The WTO derives its power to regulate international trade through treaties. In the age of the political, cultural, and economic dominance of multinational corporations, it acts as a kind of clearing house, or court of last resort, to settle trade disputes short of war. In theory, the WTO is concerned that no country favor its own exports by placing "unfair" restrictions upon competing imports.
Run by and for the interests of large industrial and financial enterprises, the WTO views "harmonization" of food standards as promoting "free trade." Unfortunately, free trade as conceptualized and actualized by the dominant WTO members (United States, European Union, Japan) is not about leveling the playing field so that small producers or underdeveloped countries can compete with the big guys. It is about ensuring that the most powerful corporations can continue to grow, eating up the small fish and expanding into new markets in both industrialized and industrializing economies. It is about maximizing the extraction of profit for stock-holders, as opposed to maximizing the health or economic well-being of a population.
To that end, WTO members have agreed to abide by the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), and the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT), which mandate that no country will impose unfair barriers to trade, and that they will work to harmonize regulations that affect trade by abiding by international standards, or face trade sanctions. In theory, this could mean that the United States, by allowing the internal sale of substances and supplement doses that are disallowed in Europe is, in effect, imposing a barrier to the "free trade" of EU supplements, since consumers are less likely to buy products that are diluted by Codex restrictions. And the FDA, which is clearly controlled by the pharmaceutical and agribusiness sector, is in the process of harmonizing the internal market, partly through the scientific auspices of the IOM, in a way that parallels the EU Community and Codex processes. From the perspective of the WTO, it is not harmonious to have one relatively unrestricted supplement market, governed by DSHEA, surrounded by a more restricted world market bound under Codex. Since it is, when all is said and done, in the interests of the WTO movers and shakers to carve up the food supplement market amongst themselves, while excluding small producers, it is likely that the movement to mirror the Codex restrictions in America will continue. And should that fail, the SPS and TBT treaties ensure that legal actions can be mounted by European governments at the WTO level to compel the U.S. to toe the Codex line, or pay the price of non-compliance.
(It is important to note that food and food supplements are only one area of commerce that the WTO and the United Nations are attempting to harmonize. Ultimately, world trade will increasingly fall under the spell of monopoly as commodities become uniformly regulated in conformance with the Neoliberal economic doctrine [the so-called "Washington Consensus"] that currently prevails in the White House, at the United Nations Security Council, and inside the WTO.)
The Irony of the Situation
The ultimate irony, some might say horror, of the situation is highlighted by looking at a joint report by the FAO/WHO issued in 2003, Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease. This impeccably researched, enormously valuable study—performed by other arms of the same organizations that administer Codex—finds that the health of Third World populations is being destroyed by importing the First World diet, which is heavy in saturated fats, trans fats, unrefined carbohydrates and sugar, meat, dairy, while lacking in vegetables, fruits, and dietary fiber. This unhealthy diet, says the FAO/WHO, is spreading around the globe "like an infectious disease."
Without mentioning Codex, the report implicitly damns the commission's methods and its guidelines for vitamins and minerals. For example, the report notes that "[Food] guidelines should try to ensure that the overall benefit of recommendations to the majority of the population substantially outweigh any potential adverse effects on selected subgroups." In other words, upper dosage limits for supplements should be set to benefit the population as a whole, not calculated, say, on the potential for excessive intake of Vitamin A to harm a fetus.
"Population nutrient goals recommended by FAO/WHO [should be] tailored to local or national diets and populations [to] reverse or reduce impact of unfavorable dietary changes occurred over the past century [and in] developing countries recently." Of course, the WTO is not about to base trade rules on health issues. Rather, with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Third World markets are being inundated with fast and processed foodstuffs, even as their trade balances are undermined by the importation of meat, dairy, sugar and refined grain. In short, the natural economies serving billions of people are being turned to dust by transnational agribusiness, which, in taking over local food industries and promoting bad diet, cause the need for vitamin and mineral supplements to increase at the very moment that the population's ability to access natural pharmacopeias is being curtailed by Codex's profit-maximization scheme. The rise of diet-related chronic disease is good business for biotech corporations such as Cargill that sell food and food ingredients while positioning themselves to market cancer cures, cardiovascular drugs, and dietary food supplements.
Regarding upper dosage limits for supplements, the FAO/WHO report observes, "Seldom is there a single 'best value' [instead] there is often a range of population averages consistent with maintenance of health … the recommended dietary/nutrition practice should modify the attributable risk of the undesirable exposure in that population." In other words, national-level regulations can best serve the needs of national populations. And responsible labeling practices protect consumers by informing them about the dangers of over-dosing.
The FAO/WHO study advises eating fruits and vegetables, shying away from red meat, saturated fat, and refined sugar, while exercising regularly, and avoiding television. It promotes the use of vitamins and minerals (including substances excluded from the EU directive's positive list) for fighting cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the other ills that come from eating nutrient-stripped, flavor-added "food." Which brings us back to the opening sentence of the Codex Guidelines: "Most people who have access to a balanced diet can usually obtain all the nutrients they require from their normal diet."
Clearly, most people, even in America, do not have access to a balanced diet and the nutrients they require. Supplements are one way of alleviating the symptoms of a globalizing problem that can only be solved by an epochal transformation of the planet's political economy. It is not just irresponsible for the Codex Commission to throttle the global market in food and food supplements when 2.8 billion people are forced to live on less than two dollars a day; it is malign.
But even in the world's most over-consuming society, corporate domination of the food and drug supply is wreaking havoc. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and elsewhere, food-borne diseases contribute to approximately 76 million illnesses, 323,000 hospitalizations, and 5,200 deaths in the United States alone each year, while properly prescribed and administered prescription and over the counter drugs are estimated to cause annually 2.2 million serious adverse events, and some 106,000 deaths in the United States—while "regulators" sit by idly. The normal use of vitamins and minerals, on the other hand, is not a death sentence.
The founding of the Geneva-headquartered Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1963 represented a hope that the powerful corporations controlling our food supply might be regulated into putting public health before profit. Forty-four years later, sad to say, the opposite has proven to be true. Corporate marketing agendas have consistently trumped public health needs, over the objections of consumer groups, during several decades of Codex rulings on food, drink and, most recently, dietary supplements. It is possible that, five years from now, you will need a prescription for your vitamins.
And chances are that your expensive supplements will be manufactured and retailed by large pharmaceutical companies who, using Codex as an instrument of trade restriction, monopolize the world markets for nutritional products.
GlaxoSmithKline is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Last year, the $45 billion firm, based in Great Britain, sold $1.3 billion worth of “nutritional healthcare” products. Glaxo and its corporate competitors, such as Netherlands-based DSM Corp., are racing to grab sectors of the “emerging” third world market in vitamin and mineral supplements and fortified foods. To achieve this end, multinational firms need the cooperation of governments, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and Codex.
Here’s a good example of Glaxo’s food-imperialism: Throughout Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Middle East, Glaxo brands chocolate-flavored Horlicks as “a nutritional drink made from wheat, milk, and malted barley.” In India, the multinational pharma-food conglomerate advertises the Horlicks line of “extremely tasty” drinks and biscuits as suitable for breastfeeding mothers, people with diabetes, preschool children, “health conscious adults,” and quick energy-seekers. Horlicks, brags Glaxo, is manufactured “as per the guidelines of the Codex Alimentarius.” Be that as it may, one serving of Horlicks Light Malt Chocolate contains a stultifying load of refined sugars, carbohydrates and transfats infused with a mere 17 percent of the recommended daily allowance of 11 vitamins and minerals.
Within five years, corporations such as Glaxo and DSM will be able to tighten their control over the manufacturing and distribution of vitamins and minerals in all their multifarious forms.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is a regulatory body chartered by the United Nations to standardize the labeling, packaging, safety, and quality of the world’s food supply. Although voting members of the Codex Commission are drawn from governmental bodies, corporate lobbyists wield considerable influence inside the arcane, intensely bureaucratic, years-long process of codifying binding guidelines that are fundamentally changing how vitamins, minerals, and nutritively fortified foods enter the global diet. It is instructive to note that Glaxo holds the officially-sanctioned status of “stakeholder” at meetings of the body in charge of regulating health supplements, the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses; (there are two dozen Codex committees, each with its own food-related domain). Much is at stake: Codex guidelines are more than helpful suggestions; they are quantified rules enforceable by a network of treaties and trade agreements adjudicated by World Trade Organization tribunals.
In addition to the 178 national state delegations that vote on Codex agenda items, meetings are attended by 151 non-voting stakeholders. Industrial food and drug corporations make up nearly three quarters of this influential group. Consumer and public interest groups are a paltry eight percent. The balance of the stakeholders—who are allowed to speak in meetings and to lobby commissioners—are trade associations. Omnipresent corporate lobbyists, such as from the Council of Responsible Nutrition, are attuned to the slightest deviation from the business-first agenda that, according to informed observers, has guided the Codex deliberations for many years.
DSM Corp. is certified by the Codex Secretariat to participate in deliberations. DSM, which grossed $8.3 billion in pharmaceutical and nutritional sales last year, cares about Codex because it is the world’s largest supplier of vitamin and mineral pre-mixes for human and animal consumption. On the other side of the lobbying equation is the National Health Federation of Monrovia, California, the sole American health freedom group accredited to participate in Codex meetings. The NHF assesses Codex as a threat to health freedom because, among other matters, it is setting very low maximum limits on the amounts of vitamins and minerals allowed in dietary supplement forms, especially Vitamin B6, Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D.
Last November, the nutrition committee held its annual meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand. As usual, deliberations were dominated by the priorities of the European state delegations, which vote as a bloc. The Europeans easily overrode consideration of health and safety concerns about infant formula standards that were raised by representatives from Japan and Benin. And the agenda of setting low maximum limits on supplement levels was inexorably advanced after the European chairman, Dr. Rolf Grossklaus, limited discussion of that issue.
One problem with the Codex treatment of supplements, according to the NHF and other health freedom advocates, is that the method used by consulting scientists to determine the allowable upper levels of vitamin and mineral dosages is unsound. It is based on assessing possible (but not proven) risks of ingesting large amounts of supplements without taking into account the benefits of using a particular vitamin or mineral as it is intended to be used. Critics say that Codex is, in effect, employing the “Precautionary Principle” as a guide for assessing the safety of dietary supplements.
The precautionary approach is wise, indeed, when applied to regulating home and industrial use of chemicals and toxins that are known to cause ill effects to health and habitat (including global warming!). But conducting an investigation of vitamin safety on the premise of “guilty until proven innocent” is illogical, say the critics, because these relatively benign substances are known to produce considerable health benefits in supplement form. By chemical composition, they are nutrients, not obvious toxins, such as are polyvinyl chlorides and formaldehyde and alcohol. Vitamins do not cause harm, except in the rare cases when they are used in excess. (For that matter, too much water can kill you!)
When the Codex delegations from the United States, led by the Department of Agriculture, opine that setting low upper levels will only affect countries outside the United States, NHF disagrees: “We think that Codex guidelines and standards will inevitably supercede domestic laws, including the Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act of 1994.” And that is because the agenda of Codex is driven by the marketing plans of major food and drug concerns—and the imperative to “harmonize” world trade in accordance with those plans—and not by the superior agenda of substantially improving human nutrition and health, especially in the third world.
Dr. Robert Verkerk, director of the Alliance for Natural Health in the United Kingdom, says, “The most pressing issue is how Codex will deal with risk assessment of vitamins and minerals, and then, subsequently, other nutrients and foods. This will set the borderline between what constitutes a nutrient in a food, functional food or dietary/food supplement and a nutrient used as a drug.”
Verkerk points out that behind the shield of “scientific risk assessment” the commissioners are working to institutionalize a global system of regulations that will cap the specific amounts of vitamins and minerals that may be sold in individual doses of over-the-counter dietary supplements. Codex consultants are using the recommended daily allowance method, which establishes minimal intake needs, as a basis for establishing upper intake limits, even when scientific analysis shows that there is very little, if any risk of overdosing on specific substances. And this illogical method of bracketing the nutritional composition of supplements may eventually be applied to low-balling the nutrient levels of all foods! Why?
The European Commission, which is developing a template of maximum supplement dosage levels that are slated to be codified by Codex, states: “[I]t is important to note that food supplements are regulated as food and are intended for supplementing the normal diet rather than having therapeutic effects. In fact, claims as to treatment, cure or prevention of disease would not be allowed for food supplements and would place the product under the legal framework of medicines.” This artificially constructed—political—notion that upper limits are needed for safety and medical reasons will result in chopping the world’s supplement and fortified food markets into controllable pieces. It is certainly not about stopping people from accidentally committing suicide by vitamin.
Hence, the cornucopia of supplements from which consumers pick and choose dosages appropriate for their individual diets and physiognomies may, one day, no longer be widely available in retail stores.
Within five years, corporations such as Glaxo and DSM will be able to tighten their control over the manufacturing and distribution of vitamins and minerals in all their multifarious forms. They will be able to dominate the manufacture and distribution of fortified foods—such as bulk refined sugar laced with beta-carotene—in emerging markets. And under Codex guidelines, stockpiles of food staples in under-developed nations could be required by international law to be fortified with minimal amounts of vitamins, because, ironically, the naturally nutritive diets of these regions is being replaced by industrialized, high fat, high sugar, low-vitamin, low-fiber, food-like substances, such as McDonalds hamburgers and Horlicks.
Trading on Codex-approved low-balling of nutrient content, DSM could, for example, launch a wholesale line of minimally fortified foods, plus a line of low-dosage supplement products for retail consumption, and a separate line of high-dose “therapeutic” vitamins, such as 1,000 mg tabs of Vitamin C, as prescription-only medicine for the rich. This is not idle speculation: DSM is rapidly expanding its fortified food market, reaching into Central America, the Philippines, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Chile and beyond with the help of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-approved plans (published on DSM’s Web site) for micro-managing the nutritive content of multiple human and animal ecosystems. Meanwhile, DSM’s futurists assume that the diets of emerging economies will continue to become Americanized: chock full of sugar, carbs, transfats, and nutrient-deprived grains. Meanwhile, DSM (under the nose of Codex) is growing a global business that adds vitamins and minerals back into processed foods after these nutrients have been stripped out to make “tasty” products. (DSM’s manipulation of the food supply is being marketed under the guise of promoting “sustainability,” but that is another story.)
Also in documents available on its Web site, DSM, in partnership with USAID, reports that fortifying Third World food staples at 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance “reduces the need to provide supplements in pharmaceutical forms on a widespread basis.” This remarkable statement is revealing of intent because it predicts that dietary supplements are slated to become “pharmaceutical,” i.e. prescriptive drugs; and that they will not be available for everybody (“widespread basis”).
Meanwhile, Glaxo’s obvious marketing strategy is to continue selling sugary “health” drinks to third world peasants (who cannot afford to eat the whole foods that they harvest for export to the financial metropoles). Glaxo is also marketing more than a dozen low-dose supplement products to the increasingly vitamin- and mineral-starved masses of the Third World. It is not in the corporate self-interest of Glaxo or DSM to leverage their capital resources and political clout to provide the planet with a healthy diet, quite the opposite. And as collateral damage to their transnational marketing strategies small supplement producers and mom & pop retail outlets in the Third World will keel over from lack of muscle. In relatively affluent America, however, the political power of established supplement distributors may forestall, for a time, maybe for a long time, the liquidation of DSHEA and the demise of small producers. (The reader may or may not realize that we, in America, enjoy a very high level of health freedom compared to other countries. We have something good and it should be defended.)
In summary, Codex observers say it is highly probable that the commission will eventually codify a regimen of upper limits on the amounts of vitamins and minerals allowed to be defined as dietary supplements. These upper limits will, if the Codex deliberations continue to proceed in tandem with the current agenda, be lower than the dosages available in many of today’s popular health products. But because the biological need for supplement intake varies tremendously from person to person and from group to group and from country to country it is fundamentally illogical to set maximum dose levels on an international basis. For that matter, it looks like an academic exercise to set upper limits for any population.
Clearly, the Codex agenda is governed by the needs of the food and drug industry, and not the needs of the average consumer. As a case in point: Dr. Grossklaus, who chairs the nutrition committee, is an employee of a German agency, BfR, that is contracted to render scientific advice on vitamin levels to the Codex committee chaired by … Grossklaus. The chairman’s advice to himself echoes the public comments of the pharmaceutical firms that are powerfully embedded inside the committee proceedings—and they want low upper limits in line with the recommended daily allowance method, as does BfR. And BfR (echoing the food-pharma company concerns) wants to scientifically validate these low limits by treating vitamins as dangerous chemicals, not as proven boons to humankind.
But an even bigger conflict of interest than Grossklaus’ is that, due to its umbilical ties to the World Trade Organization, the Codex Alimentarius as a whole has largely ceased to function as a genuine advocate for world health and has become a force in the fashioning of trade agreements designed by corporate lobbies. Setting worldwide levels for dietary supplements is not about ensuring public health and safety; it is about advancing the agenda of profit-driven corporations like DSM and Glaxo. Of course supplements are not the only target of the Codex Alimentarius regime: as Verkerk points out: Codex aims to regulate the nutritive content of all foods. And so do DSM and its cohorts.
* For a detailed description of the Codex Alimentarius, see Smart Publications (2005), “The Fate of Vitamins.” In a subsequent article, we will look closely at what the developing Codex agenda means for First World consumers.
Peter Byrne is a national award-winning investigative reporter and science writer based in Northern California. He can be reached in cyberspace at www.peterbyrne.info
The Health Movement against "Codex Alimentarius"
"Compared to the reality of the drug industry, my book reads like a vacation post card" John Le Carre, Author
The Codex Alimentarius Commission was established under heavy influence of the pharmaceutical industry in 1963 following resolutions passed at the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1961, and at the Sixteenth World Health Assembly in 1963. (More on the history of codex here) From its very beginning CAC's clear intention was to protect corporate interests in the global pharmaceutical and food markets.
To achieve this goal the CAC arbitrarily sets worldwide “food standards” for the Word Trade Organization (WTO), which small producers and developing countries find very difficult to meet. While developing countries are thereby excluded from “Free Trade” in the global market by means of often unnecessarily high standards, the pharmaceutical industry uses the CAC as a tool to outlaw all non-patentable natural therapies threatening their global market for patentable synthetic drugs, by simply declaring them illegal or “overdoses”.
The CAC’s laws against effective vitamin therapies in particular triggered worldwide resistance and led to the formation of an unprecedented health movement against the proposed ban on nutritional supplements. Since 1994 Dr. Matthias Rath has led the battle against the Codex Alimentarius Commission and its unelected members, who are often completely uneducated in nutritional science or have direct ties with the pharmaceutical industry. Since 1994 a consistently growing number of protestors, sometimes in their thousands, have demonstrated in front of the venue of CAC meetings in Berlin, Germany. The CAC still meets in Germany every November, but has had to relocate to the provincial city of Bonn, due to the growing public exposure of its activities in Berlin.
While most countries involved in the CAC still support this undemocratic institution, a growing number of delegates within it have begun to actively question its legitimacy. Several insiders have already publicly confirmed the accusations made by the natural health movement behind Dr. Rath.
At its last meeting in Bonn in November 2004, the national delegation from South Africa presented a proposal capable of finally changing the perverse course that the CAC has followed in the last few years. A leaked document of a participating industry organization confirmed later the “farce” for the pharmaceutical cartel due to the South African initiative.
The South African CAC delegation is to be congratulated for determinedly making life-saving health information about natural therapies available to the people of the world.
In the mean time the European Union is following the exact opposite route in order to protect its billion dollar pharmaceutical market. The EU is using its full weight of now 25 member states within Codex to impose strict guidelines on essential nutrients on the whole world. It now appears increasingly likely that EU health policy will gradually become the blueprint for global health policy. (More on the EU and recent Codex developments here)
The complete background to the struggle for health freedom against Codex Alimentarius can be found below. Read all about the plans made by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, who is behind the Codex Commission and the history of Codex Alimentarius. Read how business is trying to infiltrate your health and the health of everyone, worldwide.
(NaturalNews) Codeath (sorry, I meant Codex) Alimentarius, latin for Food Code, is a very misunderstood organization that most people (including nearly all U.S. congressmen) have never heard of, never mind understand the true reality of this extremely powerful trade organization. From the official Codex website (www.codexalimentarius.net) the altruistic purpose of this commission is in "protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade, and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations". Codex is a joint venture regulated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Brief History of Codex
The history of Codex began in 1893 when the Austria-Hungarian empire decided it needed a specific set of guidelines by which the courts could rule on cases dealing with food . This regulatory set of mandates became known as Codex Alimentarius and was effectively implemented until the fall of the empire in 1918. The United Nations (UN) met in 1962 and decided that Codex should be re-implemented worldwide in order to protect health of the consumers. Two-thirds of funding for Codex emanates from the FAO while the other third comes from the WHO.
In 2002, the FAO and WHO had serious concerns about the direction of Codex and hired an external consultant to determine its performance since 1962 and to designate which direction to take the trade organization . The consultant concluded that Codex should be immediately scrapped and eliminated. It was at this time that big industry realized the full monetary potential of this organization and exerted its powerful influence. The updated outcome was a toned down report asking Codex to address 20 various concerns within the organization.
Since 2002, the Codex Alimentarius Commission has covertly surrendered its role as an international public health and consumer protection organization. Under the helm of big industry, the sole surreptitious purpose of the new codex is to increase profits for the global corporate juggernauts while controlling the world through food. The implicit understanding of their philosophy is that if you control food, you control the world.
The most dominant country behind the agenda of Codex is the United States whose sole purpose is to benefit multinational interests like Big Pharma, Big Agribusiness, Big Chema and the like. At the latest meeting in Geneva, the U.S. recently became the chair of Codex which will facilitate an exacerbation of the distortion of health freedom and will continue the promulgation of misinformation and lies about genetically modified organism (GMOs) and nutrients while fulfilling the tacit population control agenda. The reason the U.S. continues to dominate Codex is because other countries falsely believe the U.S. possesses the latest and greatest safety technology when it comes to food and hence, whatever the U.S. asks for, its allies (E.U., Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore) follow suit nearly every time.
Many of the countries who wish to participate and want to voice their opinions are not allowed to attend the Codex meetings as the U.S. denies most visas for these representatives whenever they feel like it. Many of these countries (South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Sudan, Nigeria) realize that Codex has been altered from a benevolent food organization to one that is fraudulent, lethal and illegitimate. The fact that Codex meetings are held all over the world is also no accident and allows the U.S. to maintain its tight grip on the Codex agenda as the less economically viable countries are not able to attend.
The Real Threat
While the esoteric agenda of the media is busy driving fear into the hearts of the world by focusing on terrorism, global warming, salmonella, and food shortages, the real threats are clandestinely becoming a reality. Soon every single thing you put into your mouth (with the exception of pharmaceuticals, of course) will be highly regulated by Codex Alimentarius, including water. The standards of Codex are a complete affront to the freedom of clean and healthy food, yet these regulations have no legal international standing. Why should we be worried? These soon-to-be mandatory standards will apply to every country who are members of the WTO (World Trade Organization). If countries do not follow these standards, then enormous trade sanctions will result. Some Codex standards that will take effect on December 31, 2009 and once initiated are completely irrevocable include :
* All nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are to be considered toxins/poisons and are to be removed from all food because Codex prohibits the use of nutrients to "prevent, treat or cure any condition or disease"
* All food (including organic) is to be irradiated, removing all toxic nutrients from food (unless eaten locally and raw).
* Nutrients allowed will be limited to a Positive List developed by Codex which will include such beneficial nutrients like Fluoride (3.8 mg daily) developed from environmental waste. All other nutrients will be prohibited nationally and internationally to all Codex-compliant countries .
* All nutrients (e.g., CoQ10, Vitamins A, B, C, D, Zinc and Magnesium) that have any positive health impact on the body will be deemed illegal under Codex and are to be reduced to amounts negligible to humans' health .
* You will not even be able to obtain these anywhere in the world even with a prescription.
* All advice on nutrition (including written online or journal articles or oral advice to a friend, family member or anyone) will be illegal. This includes naturalnews.com reports on vitamins and minerals and all nutritionist's consultations.
* All dairy cows are to be treated with Monsanto's recombinant bovine growth hormone.
* All animals used for food are to be treated with potent antibiotics and exogenous growth hormones.
* The reintroduction of deadly and carcinogenic organic pesticides that in 1991, 176 countries (including the U.S.) have banned worldwide including 7 of the 12 worst at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pesticides (e.g., Hexachlorobenzene, Toxaphene, and Aldrin) will be allowed back into food at elevated levels .
* Dangerous and toxic levels (0.5 ppb) of aflotoxin in milk produced from moldy storage conditions of animal feed will be allowed. Aflotoxin is the second most potent (non-radiation) carcinogenic compound known to man.
* Mandatory use of growth hormones and antibiotics on all food herds, fish and flocks
* Worldwide implementation of unlabeled GMOs into crops, animals, fish and trees.
* Elevated levels of residue from pesticides and insecticides that are toxic to humans and animals.
Some examples of potential permissible safe levels of nutrients under Codex include :
* Niacin - upper limits of 34 mcg daily (effective daily doses include 2000 to 3000 mcgs).
* Vitamin C - upper limits of 65 to 225 mcg daily (effective daily doses include 6000 to 10000 mcgs).
* Vitamin D - upper limits of 5 µg daily (effective daily doses include 6000 to 10000 µg).
* Vitamin E - upper limits of 15 IU of alpha tocopherol only per day, even though alpha tocopherol by itself has been implicated in cell damage and is toxic to the body (effective daily doses of mixed tocopherols include 10000 to 12000 IU).
The Door is Open for Codex
In 1995, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created an illegal policy stating that international standards (i.e, Codex) would supersede U.S. laws governing all food even if these standards were incomplete . Furthermore, in 2004 the U.S. passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (illegal under U.S. law, but legal under international law) that requires the U.S. to conform to Codex in December of 2009 .
Once these standards are adopted there is no possible way to return to the standards of the old. Once Codex compliance begins in any area, as long as we remain a member of the WTO, it is totally irrevocable. These standards are then unable to be repealed, changed or altered in any way shape or form [1, 2, 7].
Population control for money is the easiest way to describe the new Codex which is run by the U.S. and controlled by Big Pharma and the like to reduce the population to a sustainable 500 million - a reduction of approximately 93 percent. The FAO and WHO have the audacity to estimate that by the introduction of just the vitamin and mineral guideline alone, at a minimum 3 billion deaths (1 billion from starvation and another 2 billion from preventable and degenerative diseases of under nutrition, e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes) will result.
Degraded, demineralized, pesticide-filled and irradiated foods are the fastest and most efficient way to cause a profitable surge in malnutrition, preventable and degenerative disease which the most appropriate course of action is always pharmaceuticals. Death for profit is the new name of the game. Big Pharma has been waiting for this opportunity for years.
Dr. Rima Laibow, M.D., who is the medical director for Natural Solutions Foundation, has undertaken legal action against the U.S. government and continues to attend every Codex meeting while fighting for your health freedom. The latest Codex meeting in Geneva heard some dissenting voices that were tired of the U.S. bullying every other country in the world with its population control agenda. Brazil and China have stated that when smaller, underrepresented countries are unable to attend Codex meetings (due to the U.S. not allowing Visas or for lack of monetary means) then every decision made in their absence is invalid. As a result, Codex may soon fall apart under the weight of it own corruption, but pressure needs to be unilaterally applied.
Dr. Rima has also been meeting with delegates from other countries and making them aware of something called Private Standards. Private standards allow countries to draft food standards which are safer and higher than those mandated by Codex. Obviously, this is not a very difficult task and many countries can seemingly circumvent the flawed and irrevocable guidelines Codex is attempting to implement on December 31, 2009 .
What Can You Do?
The only way to avoid such cataclysmic events are to fight with the dissemination of knowledge to everyone you know. It does not matter whether they are still asleep or hypnotized by the enslavement of daily life or too busy to pay attention -- the time to wake up is now. The U.S. government and the collaborating media have been trying to distract America while all these egregious and mandatory standards are covertly passed. It is time to take action and you can do so by going to (www.healthfreedomusa.org) and following the latest updates on Codex. You can also sign a legal citizen's petition here
Another effective way to get your voice heard is through sending emails or writing to your congressman (https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml) . If you send one email to congress, it will ostensibly count as 13,000 emails. The U.S. Congress believes that for each person who takes the time to write or email them there are another 13,000 others who share similar views but do not take the time to promulgate them. Those living in other countries need to contact their representatives in order to have your voice heard. It is very important that swift and vociferous action be taken now. Times are changing very rapidly and unless we all come together on this issue we may all have to start thinking about growing our own food in the near future to avoid extermination.
Codex Contacts to Take Action
Dr. F. Edward Scarbrough, U.S. Manager for Codex, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4861-South Building, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Ed.email@example.com
About the author Dr. Gregory Damato enjoys a vegan lifestyle and runs a Quantum Biofeedback clinic treating various clients ranging from autism to cancer. He is currently authoring a book for parents educating on the many hidden dangers of vaccines, chemical toxicity in toys, GM foods, the effects of EMFs and EMRs and ways to combat rising childhood illness and neurological disease by naturally building immunity, detoxification and nutrition. His goal is to increase global awareness of the myriad of health issue facing us today and the fact that 99% of them are preventable and completely reversible. His website is: www.quantumenergywellness.com and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.