"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the U.S.A., writer of Declaration of Independence, American statesman
What is CODEX?
By M.D., Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation Rima E. Laibow, http://www.ficaa.com/
Ancient History of CODEX
"CODEX ALIMENTARIUS" is Latin for "Food Rules" or Food Regulations. Rules and regulations to control food purity go back at least to the ancient Assyrians. Cultures as diverse as the Romans and the Europe of the Middle Ages had codes and rules to ensure clean food and honest value in the purchase of that food.
The name, "CODEX ALIMENTARIUS" refers to a set of tight regulations covering all aspects of food, and dates back to a collection of food standards assembled between 1897 and 1911 by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where it was used as a legal reference by the courts as a standard although the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS itself had no legal standing.
The modern CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is very similar in that it attempts to regulate every aspect of food production, packaging, preparation, preservation and presentation of food "from farm to fork". CODEX also attempts to regulate supplemental nutrients and, at some times, herbs and other orally ingested substances besides pharmaceutical drugs.
Modern History of CODEX
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is the result of a complex relationship between the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (which has been authorized to enforce CODEX ALIMENTARIUS through trade sanctions), the World Health Organization (which is actively creating CODEX ALIMENTARIUS regulations despite the fact that CODEX directly and explicitly conflicts with their own findings and policies such as those recommending supplemental nutrition like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organziation (WHO) official joint publication, "Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases"), as well as our American FDA and USDA. These organizations are working in concert with industry representatives of (and others unofficially representing the interests of) the pesticide, chemical, pharmaceutical, dairy, and biotechnology industries.
The United Nations established the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission in 1963 to ensure clean, abundant food for the planet and remove all barriers to international trade of that food. At that time, the World Health Assembly approved the establishment of the Joint FAO/WHO Program on Food Standards to promulgate standards for ratification by the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission.
How CODEX Standards are Made and Imposed on Nations
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Committees (of which there are more than 20) prepare and develop guidelines on every aspect of food and present those guidelines to the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission for ratification once those guidelines have reached "Step 8" of the guideline development process.
Committees and the Commission operate through poorly defined "consensus" so actions of those bodies may not represent the will of the delegates or the countries they represent. The decision process is not a democratic one. Delegates have been bodily removed by security guards at the request of the chairman if they persisted in seeking discussion after the chairman has declared a matter closed.
Once ratified a standard becomes meaningful in two ways:
- International trade sanctions may be applied to countries who, via the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Resolution process, are found to be in violation of the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Standards. CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is accepted by the WTO, providing to it a set of regulations by which it can judged whether a country is providing a hidden or overt barrier to trade (i.e. not meeting CODEX regulations) of foodstuffs.
- Domestic compliance is required by the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (signed by the United States) in which Article 3 makes domestic (internal) compliance mandatory with WTO accepted standards (e.g. CODEX ALIMENTARIUS). Countries whose domestic law complies with CODEX are held to be in automatic compliance with CODEX ALIMENTARIUS for WTO Dispute Resolution purposes. Countries not in internal compliance with CODEX ALIMENTARIUS may be held to be providing a hidden barrier to trade in the absence of any trade dispute and subject to WTO trade sanctions anyway.
CODEX Overrides Laws of the Land by Way of WTO Trade Sanctions
It is worth noting that on October 11, 1997 the FDA policy in the United States Federal Register stated that it would accept international standards, whether completed or nearing completion, in preference to domestic standards [emphasis added]. Thus, the ground work was laid for the replacement of our domestic laws and standards (our domestic laws and standards are far higher than CODEX's) with CODEX's dangerously low ones. This replacement would take place despite the will of the American people as expressed through the laws passed by their elected representatives to keep their food safe and their supplements available.
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, then, is a set of regulations lacking the force of law, but also a set of regulations which can be enforced by trade sanctions by the WTO and which, through the SPSA, can compel compliance with its rules in virtually every country of the world (through nation membership in the WTO).
Bias Towards Certain Special Interests
Health focused consumers, health scientists, physicians and other practicing natural medicine and other health-focused voices have been absent either physically or functionally from official CODEX ALIMENTARIUS deliberations. Unofficial observers may not speak during the sessions: Members of delegations may not discuss standards and CODEX-related business with members of other delegations. A small number of trade organizations have participated in CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Committees and the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission, but their views have often differed sharply from those of health-focused professionals and consumers. Of course, the real work of such a complex regulatory structure takes place outside of those official sessions. And none of the health advocates have had access to those meetings, agreements and sessions. The CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Committees and the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission would, without our consent or democratic input, take away our health freedoms if we allow ourselves to be "harmonized"! We can do something about it, however.
How CODEX Restricts Access to Nutritional Supplements
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS touches all aspects of food. Its most dangerous impact on health and longevity of the United States would come from its regulations regarding:
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS sets maximum allowable dosages of permitted substances and forbids all others (and all dosages higher than that found in foods). In Europe, described as "the Future Face of CODEX", restrictive standards for nutrients are being set by the European Supplements Directive which specifies that only a total of 28 supplements are allowed at ultra low, sub-clinical doses. All other nutritional materials in the EU, apart from these 28 therapeutically useless supplements, will become illegal substances on August 1, 2005. While the European Food Supplements Directive is responsible for these standards, they are closely allied with the intent and spirit of CODEX itself.
CODEX Would Make Vitamin C Above 200mg perDay as Illegal as Heroin!
The intent of CODEX is to eliminate nutrients to prevent, treat or cure any disease or condition. Because nutrients are not patentable (and neither should they be), the near-impossible requirements for approval make it exceedingly difficult financially for entrepreneurs and manufacturers of supplements to stay in business, as many would not be able to meet the requirements for nutrients not already approved. Even if they could, such approval is due to expire December 31, 2010 making it fiscal insanity to spend half a billion dollars for a temporary permit for a non-patentable substance.
While there are some impractical options for a few nutrients to become permissible as prescription drugs, the cost and stipulations are so difficult that it is unlikely any nutrients can pass this set of hurdles.
Virtually every nutrient at any effective dose will be banned in Europe under the European Food Supplements Directive. We can expect exactly the same results here in the U.S. unless we do what the Europeans did not do in time, and take massive action. Heroin is an illegal substance: that is the model. Your doctor cannot write you a prescription for heroin. You cannot buy, sell, make, distribute or use heroin. If CODEX follows the European model, as it is expected to, Vitamin C, for example, at any dosage higher than 200 mg per day would be illegal.
A gram of Vitamin C would be an illegal substance!
The dose of Co Q 10 which has been shown to resolve breast cancer in some patients (400 mg per day) would be illegal because Co Q 10 would be totally illegal at any dose following the European Supplements Directive model. Only 28 nutrients would be allowed, but the maximum upper limits have been set so low that they have little or no clinical impact in keeping us healthy and none at all in returning us to a state of health if we are ill. And those which are available would be exorbitantly priced.
CODEX is Based on the Napoleonic Legal Code, not Common Law
It is important to note that CODEX ALIMENTARIUS operates under the Napoleonic legal code under which anything not explicitly permitted is forbidden!
In contrast to the Napoleonic legal code, the U.S. operates under the Common Law code under which anything not specifically forbidden is permitted.
Open discussion during the last CODEX COMMITTEE on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses made it clear that the intent of the committee was to avoid explicitly labeling the contents of the vitamin and mineral standard reaching readiness for ratification so that, under the Napoleonic legal code, it would automatically exclude all nutrients not explicitly permitted.
CODEX and Big Pharma
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS specifies that supplements and nutrients not be used to prevent, treat or cure any disorder. Yet more than 80% of Americans use supplements for exactly these purposes. Nutritional and environmental physicians, naturopaths, nutritionists, chiropractors and a host of other licensed health professionals employ hundreds of natural minerals, supplements and herbs precisely because they are effective in preventing, treating and curing many diseases. These natural health options would become illegal if the U.S. is "harmonized" with CODEX because compliance with CODEX ALIMENTARIUS would be manditory. Health food stores are major sources of these essential substances. Most health food stores and privately owned nutrient manufacturers would, we believe, no longer be in business if CODEX ALIMENTARIUS takes effect.
Since most people on the planet do not use pharmaceutical drugs (either because they cannot afford them or because they prefer their traditional medical treatments), most of humanity would be left without legal treatment options. Even if pharmaceutical treatments were to be made available world-wide, however, there is a substantial body of opinion that holds that, especially for chronic diseases, pharmaceutical medicine's risks are not worth the small benefit gained in the treatment of chronic, degenerative diseases. The Natural Solutions Foundation (sponsor of this web site) believes that those who wish to choose natural options must have that right!
How CODEX Would Restrict Access to Herbal Medicine
The European Traditional Medicinal Products Directive, again, believed to be a mirror of the future of CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, stipulates which conditions may be treated using herbs. Only minor, self-limited conditions may be treated by herbal means. Treating any other conditions with herbal remedies would constitute a crime. Some complex oriental herbal formulas may be permitted but most would be lost. Ayurveda, Tibetan, tribal and other traditional medicines which use herbs and natural substances would be forbidden world-wide.
Herbs, formerly part of the consideration of CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission, were abruptly, and some say, illegally, removed from CODEX and placed under the jurisdiction of the WHO where they are deliberated upon in secret. It is anticipated that shortly before the global implementation of CODEX ALIMENTARIUS on January 1, 2010, herbs will be returned to CODEX ALIMENTARIUS and declared to be "untested drugs" and, thus, become illegal.
How CODEX Promotes Toxins in Environment
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS sets permissible upper limits for pesticide residues, toxic chemicals in the environment, hormones in food and other environmental contaminants which are many times higher than levels advocated by even chemical and pesticide industry lobbying groups!
Current toxic levels are already responsible for most of the cancers, heart disease, autism, chronic degenerative conditions and organ failures which are killing people at increasing rates around the globe. Making permissible toxic levels higher would accelerate this destructive world-wide trend. The Natural Solutions Foundation believes that health freedom extends to the freedom to live in a non-toxic world and have access to clean, safe and wholesome foods to protect and sustain us in such a world.
CODEX Makes Irradiation of Food Mandatory
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS legalizes and mandates irradiation of food although this procedure is widely opposed by food safety advocates. Allegedly designed to "protect us from food borne illness", the irradiation of food is by no means agreed to be a safe procedure by scientists with no industry ties. There is considerable scientific evidence that free radical generation is extremely high and protein structures are modified in unhealthy ways by introducing ionizing radiation into food before it is consumed.
CODEX Legalizes Unlabled Use of Genetically Modified Organisms
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS makes the un-labeled use of GMOs legal in all foods under all circumstances even though there is significant opposition to the widespread use of GMOs at this time.
Farmers in Iraq, as an example of what a CODEX-future would look like in America, must purchase their seeds from Monsanto® and are forbidden from retaining seed crops under the new Iraqi constitution.
Many GMOs have been genetically engineered so that seeds will not germinate without the use of specific pesticides (such as Roundup® by Monsanto®). In fact, mounting scientific evidence makes it clear that birth defects, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, severe allergies and a host of other conditions may be either enhanced or caused by increased pesticide exposure (which these crops will require).
GMOs themselves are far from scientifically established as safe for either the planet or its people by objective, non-industry scientists. Genetic drift through the spread of GMO genetic material is recognized as a major threat to the biological integrity of the entire earth. And CODEX ALIMENTARIUS would increase the spread of GMOs through uncontrolled genetic drift of altered DNA via pollen and wind.
CODEX is Not Accountable to the People
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS has been formulated (and is being expanded) by the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission which holds meetings without the effective presence or participation of significant consumer or health advocates, supplement manufactures, natural health professionals or other non-pharmaceutically oriented groups.
Trade organizations with strong and publicly documented ties to the pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural industries have a strong voice.
Consumers have virtually no say at all - and consumers are the ones who are going to be affected by all the decisions that the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission makes.
The representatives from the United States to the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission meetings have well-documented, very unwholesome conflicts of interest with the very industries that stand to profit and benefit from the wholesale implementation of the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS standards. Please read the Natural Solutions Foundation Citizen's Petition designed to compel the U.S. Government and its U.S. CODEX Delegation to follow U.S. law. We are protected by a 1997 law which prohibits the U.S. from harmonizing with international standards which violate U.S. Law. Join in the petition.
Breaking News (June 23, 2005):
China, Australia, and Venezuela are suddenly poised to set back ratification of the destructive CODEX Vitamin & Mineral Guidelines! Your action is urgently needed!