Message #21 Next Previous
A little more on the progress of Codex and why it is bad for
- THEY BECAME SILENT
If you have seen Kevin Miller's new documentary on Codex and Free Trade, We Become Silent, you know the reference we are making in with this title about the Codex meeting in Rome, when on July 4, 2005 a decision was made to adopt the Codex Dietary Supplement Guidelines.
You can read more about Codex at Friends Of Freedom International. http://www.taxtyranny.ca/images/HTML/Codex/Codex/Articles/CodexGuidelines.pdf
You can also view Kevin Miller's film; it loads automatically if you have QuickTime player operational on your computer. If this is not the case, click here to download. You can also purchase the book Death by Modern Medicine. We are stating this at the beginning because these represent the action steps you can take at this time -you have to become educated about the tangled web that we are living in and you have to contribute financially to the legal action and political action and NGO (non governmental organization) action that health freedom groups must now take.
July 4th, We Lost Our Freedom of Choice in Health Care
At 3:45pm in Rome, in a stuffy, sweltering room holding about 500 delegates from 85 countries, many trade groups, and one lone consumer NGO -National Health Federation, history was made and health was unmade. At a time when the world is suffering from bad nutrition, malnutrition, obesity, with food contaminated by pesticides, deficient in nutrients, and favoring packaged, processed foods -Codex decided to adopt a guideline for dietary supplements that puts restrictions on the trade of nutrients above a certain low level. These levels are accepted in Germany as their standard and being imposed on the European Union as of August 2005. Our nutrients will not disappear tomorrow but take some pictures now of the supplements on the shelf of your health food store -better still, take pictures of your health food store, because things are going to change.
How the Guidelines were Adopted
Rolf Grossklaus, the German chairman of CCNFSDU (Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses) was at the meeting and was asked to present his report on Dietary Supplements. Grossklaus said that considerable progress had been made on the text of the Dietary Supplement Guidelines at the Bonn meeting, November 2004. In the spirit of double-speak he said "It should be recognized that supplements can now be regulated as foods and not medicine or drugs". But what he didn't say was that under the new guidelines for trading supplements, that synthetic supplements are favored, low potency supplements are the norm, and the reason they should be low in amounts is so they do not interfere with drugs. Grossklaus also said that risk assessment is the only scientific method that is valid for assigning maximum levels to nutrients. What he did not say is that nutrients are safer than the food supply, that peanuts kill more people than dietary supplements, and that nutrients may have a toxic level affecting a miniscule 15 in every billion people who use them!
He also noted that Germany has the only risk assessment standard in the world but it is not yet in world trade -but he wants it to be. What he did not say is that he is head of risk assessment in Germany and it is his 80-page German language paper that describes that risk assessment is important so that vitamins do not interfere with the use of patented medications and are not inherently dangerous as is being implied. He completed his statement by saying that the guidelines are ready for adoption and for consumer protection and would present minimal disruption in international trade. What he didn't say was that trade is more important than consumer protection in this Codex process.
The Chairman of the Rome Codex meeting said there were only four written comments on the guidelines that had to be taken into consideration before adopting the dietary supplement guidelines. And he introduced them in the following way, which seemed to minimize their impact considerably. He said: Australia wanted the word "only" to be inserted in the text that would say that these guidelines apply "only in jurisdictions where products are regulated as foods. (Australia regulates their supplements under a drug category, as does Canada -they hope to avoid Codex by doing that -but they may be in for a shock to realize that WTO international trade agreements don't care whether a supplement is regulated as a food or a drug. See the Codex documents at www.friendsoffreedominternational.org for more information.
The Chairman said he would ask the legal services if adding the word "only" would make any difference in the meaning of the text.
The second comment was by Venezuela was defined by the Chairman as linguistic and deferred to Spain for an accurate Spanish translation.
The Chairman called the Chinese comments technical in nature. However, the Chinese comments were interesting. The Chinese delegate said that in their view, every country and every government should take into account the dietary customs of its own population and wanted to add a sentence that the government or state can make a decision on selecting minerals and vitamins in accordance with customs and habits of its own population. He said it was important to lay down a specific definition for the sources of vitamins.
In reading this comment before the meeting it seems a wonderful point that mirrored our own. However the Chairman deferred to Rolf Grossklaus about the issue of sources of vitamins. The beginning statement about countries deciding about making their own decisions was ignored and Grossklaus said that comments about sources of vitamins was "Not a question for a guideline because we have only a guideline we have no specific regulation for vitamin or mineral compounds."
The Chairman then very quickly summed up all the comments in a flash. He said "We can incorporate the Chinese comment into the report of this meeting. Venezuela and Spain can sort out the Spanish language. And Australia -the opinion of the secretariet is that it doesn't matter if we have the word "only" in or out.
Then Columbia said vitamins and minerals are not necessary for someone who is healthy with a wide-ranging diet and these supplements are intended for people who are nutrient deficient. Egypt continued on in the same vein saying that vitamins are in addition to food intake that meets daily needs.
Then Scott Tips of National Health Federation was recognized by the chair. His statement is as follows. At the 3/4 point he was interrupted by the Chairman.
Thank you Mr. Chairman. The NHF is a world wide consumer organization. We compliment you on your rapidity with which you have adopted many draft guidelines here today. But this is one that should not be rushed and should not be approved. It should not be rushed in the same way as the others. We encourage you to read the document that is being distributed to you right now (See Below). These defective guidelines are incomplete and may not be adopted because, first of all, they contain no statement of purpose in the preface, which is contrary to our own rules of procedure.
What are they there for if we do not follow them? We cannot do that; they have to be sent back to Bonn for redrafting. Second, they don't define what vitamins and minerals are. The FAO has admitted that they cannot provide us with a list of the vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be defined in this document. You are trying to pass a document that is not complete or defined. (Aside - At this point the Chairman interrupted Mr. Tips and told him to be brief.)
Third, Mr. Chairman you are quite correct when you said that the Chinese comments are substantive and as the Columbian delegate pointed out his comments are substantive too. And, page 27 of the Codex Procedural Manual says that if an amendment is ruled as substantive, it shall be referred back to the Committee. The Guideline must, therefore, be sent back to Committee. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
IADSA (International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations) a supplement trade alliance then spoke up in favor of the guidelines. The representative said that "after more than ten years of discussion we have achieved tremendous progress...we have reached a consensus and consider the guidelines are ready for adoption."
The Chairman then said if there are no further comments we accept these guidelines as the Last Step, Step 8. He asked if anyone objected to this proposal.
That is when -EVERYONE BECAME SILENT!!
Following is part of the written comments by NHF that was passed out to delegates on the floor.
NHF comments re. Draft Guiidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements at Step 8 of the Procedure (ALINORM 05/28/26 para. 35 and Appendix II).
1. The Guidelines do not state their purpose
The Codex Procedural Manual states that all standards and related texts should have a preface containing a brief description of the scope and purpose(s) of the standard or related texts. However, neither the Preamble nor the Scope of the Guidelines contain any statement to indicate the purpose(s) of the text, and the CCNFSDU 's report of its 26th Session, at which the Guidelines were recommended for adoption at Step 8, gives no indication that the requirement for the preface to contain a description of the purpose of the text was considered.
The Guideliens should not there be adopted until such time as the CCNFSDU's written comments regarding this matter has been received and considered by the CAC,, as described in the NHF's written comments contained in ALINORM 05/28/5A.
2. The Guidelines do not define what vitamins and minerals they cover
Paragraph 3.3.1 (Composition) of these Guidelines states that "Vitamin and mineral food supplements should contain vitamins/provitamins and minerals ...whose status as vitamin and minerals is recognized by FAO and WHO." However, this list of vitamins and minerals is not defined in the Guidelines themselves, and a definitive FAO/WHO document, stating which vitamins and minerals these organizations recognize, do not currently exist.
As such there is an urgent need for this list to be clearly defined before the Guidelines can be adopted, as without it national governments and their CAC/CCNFSDU delegations cannot be expected to k wow what it is that they are actually agreeing to. The Guidelines should not therefore be adopted until such time as a clear and unambiguous approved list of vitamins and minerals recognized by FAO/WHO has been provided to CCNFSDU and CAC by FAO/WHO.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, who is president of Friends of Freedom International attended Codex as a board member of National Health Federation and is proud to report that NHF spoke up for health freedom but very sad to report that NHF was the only voice speaking out for health freedom. Other members of Friends of Freedom International attending this meeting: Trueman Tuck and Peter Helgason. Other members of National Health Federation attending this meeting: Paul Taylor and Tamara Mosegaard.