Backed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Codex regulations are extremely powerful. The WTO is entitled to impose trade sanctions on any nation enacting a “barrier to trade.” With the WTO as the enforcing arm, a Codex-noncompliant nation can be forced to implement Codex policy through the use of potentially ruinous sanctions and suits. We, in the US, are not immune to the influence of Codex, either. The United States Federal Register, October 11, 1995, FDA Policy on Standards, states that “where a relevant international standard exists, or completion is imminent, it will generally be used in preference to a domestic standard….” This essentially gives the WTO sovereignty to override acts passed by the elected representatives of the US Congress.
Codex is broken into two regulatory committees that impact nutrition. One of which, the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), is chaired by Dr. Rolf Grossklaus. More than one source reports that this man’s stance on nutrition and health is that the relationship between the two is at best circumstantial and that disease prevention is the province of medicine. Even more disturbing are the vast and arbitrary powers of this man and his small group of committee members to determine consensus and therefore the enactment of international policy.
“Dr. Grossklaus, Chairman of CAC and Chairman of the pivotal Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), had the delegate from India bodily removed during a November 2003 CCNFSDU meeting. The delegate’s crime? Insisting on discussing the inclusion of CCNFSDU-approved material in baby formula which could kill 10% of newborns in his country. After the delegate was forcibly removed, Dr. Grossklaus nonchalantly declared the issue approved by ‘consensus’.”–from the website HealthFreedomUSA.org
In order to support the claim that they are committed to consumer protection, the CAC and the CCNFSDU misappropriate the use of toxicology. Toxicology is the science of determining the adverse effects of a substance on humans, animals, and the environment; the levels at which these adverse effects manifest; and the mechanism by which this happens. By applying principles of toxicology to the risk assessment of nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals, scientists are, by definition, looking for the negative to happen. The estimation of what constitutes an adverse effect, given the lack of checks and balances on the committee rulings, can be highly subjective. Further, the company employed to perform the risk assessments is in fact owned by Dr. Rolf Grossklaus–a clear conflict of interest.
The ultimate result of using toxicology to assess nutraceutical benefit is that, as stated above, it is designed to assess risk, not benefit. The purpose of nutraceuticals and nutritional supplements is to have a health promoting effect on the individual. Since science has no clear definition of what health is, other than the absence of a diagnosable disease, it is impossible to determine what exactly constitutes a health promoting effect. ‘Health,’ and its promotion by nutritional supplements, is far too vague a notion for medical science to study.
Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, are easy. They are compounds designed to target a specific, well-defined problem and fix it in a measurable fashion. They do not have to take into account the individual constitution of the patient or the myriad variables in nutrition and subsequent genetic and phenotypic expression. Pharmaceuticals do one thing: they seek out a specific problem and fix it. It is simple, clean, and easily regulated.
Regulating nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals is a much more complicated task. Due to individual differences from one person to the next and even within the same person from one day to the next, it is impossible to determine ‘safe’ dosage of a nutrient. As soon as you have a health promoting effect for one person you can have significant adverse reactions in another. In order to ensure “safety” for every individual, the dosage of nonprescription nutraceuticals that would be available to the general public would be so small as to be therapeutically negligible.
This is where Codex manipulates fear and science. By using valid principles of toxicology to reduce available levels of supplements, they can then use these negligible amounts in their scientific studies to determine efficacy. By ensuring that the amounts tested are too small to be useful, they then “prove” that the supplements are useless in the first place.
The WTO has vast influence over international trade. What the WTO decides dictates the behavior and economic fate of international industries. The WTO has already adopted the Codex in spirit and intends to implement it in fact by 2010, thereby effectively threatening the nutritional supplement and nutraceutical industry as a whole and by extension the right of individuals to determine their own well-being.
The tragedy in the United States is the lack of awareness of this movement. In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA, 1994), classifying supplements and herbs as foods which “by definition” can have no upper limit set on their distribution. Today there are upwards of five separate bills in Congress implementing, in one way or another, the Vitamin and Mineral Guideline supported by Codex. This Guideline intends to legislate and regulate the available amount of nutrients and supplements to the lowest “safe” (ie., negligible) denominator. This would effectively make therapeutic doses of these natural substances illegal.
A fundamental legal philosophy separates the premise of Codex from the function of US law as we know it. US law is based on the concept of Common Law which states that anything not expressly forbidden is permitted. Codex takes the opposite stance that anything not expressly permitted is forbidden. Thus, when Congress passed the Dietary Supplements Health Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994, new substances developed or discovered after 1994 could not be prohibited just because they did not exist as nutrients before the passing of the act. Under DSHEA, nutrients are still regulated by the FDA, which can demand that Good Manufacturing Practices be employed to make sure the nutrients are of high quality, but do not require specific legislation permitting their use. Under Codex, any new product would have to petition the committee for approval.
Dr. Rima Laibow and Major General Bert Stubblebine, of the HealthFreedomUSA.org movement to promote awareness of Codex and other infringements on nutritional freedom, contacted each US Senator’ and Congressman’s office and petitioned them for a statement on their stand regarding Codex. They report, alarmingly, that only one government leader was even aware of the issue.
In addition to the restriction of nutritional supplements and nutraceuticals to the sole purview of pharmaceutical companies or banned outright, Codex has intentions in several other areas concerning nutritional health.
1) They support the use of Genetically Modified Organisms without any required labeling
2) They permit higher levels of pesticides than those currently allowed by the FDA
3) They encourage the use of antibiotics and other veterinary drugs in consumable livestock
4) They allow higher than current levels of aflatoxin in foods, a known carcinogen, in violation of the Stockholm Convention
5) They would require the irradiation of all foods, including organic, before consumption
Please visit www.HealthFreedomUSA.org for more information and references, and learn how you can lend your support.
From the Director of Hippocrates Health Institute, Brian Clement:
“The intent of Codex Alimentaria is clear:
1) To eliminate all competition from the natural health sphere by eliminating all natural healing facilities and modalities, including live and organic food, as well as natural food concentrates and supplements. They would even restrict the right to grow and consume live and organic food.
2) To effectively control population growth by precipitating malnutrition, leading to weakened immune systems and shorter life expectancies.
3) The manipulation and subjugation of the masses by maintaining in them a permanent disease state.
I petition each of you to thoughtfully and thoroughly contemplate what the world would be like if the food we eat and the nutrients with which we nourish ourselves were all completely controlled by corporations. In the United States, the Department of Agriculture.
Vol 27 Issue 4 page 38