Friday, December 17, 2010

The Language of Health Tyranny: Decoding the Codex Alimentarius Guidelines For Vitamins and Supplements


Brandon Turbeville --Activist Post

Perhaps the most publicized aspect of Codex Alimentarius is the threat it poses to free access to vitamin and mineral supplements. While there are varying opinions on the effects the Codex guidelines would have on dietary supplements, there is little debate about the fact that these effects would be detrimental. At best, the guidelines will reduce dose levels to minuscule amounts too small to be beneficial, as well as causing the prices to skyrocket for both consumers and producers.[1] 

However, a more frightening scenario is possible and, unfortunately, quite likely. When one examines the evidence, it is clear that the effects of the Codex guidelines will do more than just reduce the level of nutrients available in supplements. The truth is that it will actually go so far as to list vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other nutrients as toxins, while at the same time listing dangerous chemicals as nutrients. 

The committee charged with completing this task is the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), chaired by Dr. Rolf Grossklaus, until recently. In 2005, and in the face of much opposition from the informed pro-supplement and natural health community, the CCNFSDU approved The Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, the set of rules by which vitamin and mineral supplements may very well be removed from the market.[2]

The Natural Health Federation (NHF) and the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) have traditionally been the most vocal opponents of Codex’s attempts. However, it appears that these organizations, as well as the many others that oppose Codex such as the Natural Solutions Foundation (NSF), are fighting a losing battle. While these groups and individuals spend countless amounts of money and energy fighting this global tyranny, their efforts amount to little more than rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. At this point, their work focuses on lessening the blow from the Codex guidelines. Unfortunately, it does nothing to stop the blow from coming, nor does it protect against subsequent heavier blows. While these statements are not meant to belittle their work, it is meant to show that the battle is not within Codex itself, but outside of it. 

That said, the idea that nutrients (vitamins and minerals) will be considered as toxins is not readily apparent even when reading the actual guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements. Nowhere in the guidelines is it stated that “nutrients will be listed as toxins.” However, as with most governmental and institutional mandates, it is hidden within coded language and meticulous directives. Such a technicality exists in this instance in the form of risk assessment; the technique specified by Codex to evaluate the safety of vitamin and mineral supplements.  In section 3.2.2 (a), the Guidelines state:
Upper safe levels of vitamins and minerals [should be] established by scientific risk assessment based on generally accepted  scientific data, taking into consideration, as appropriate, the varying degrees of sensitivity of different consumer groups. [3] 
Risk assessment, while seemingly benign, is actually crucial to the ability of Codex to justify the ban of vitamin and mineral supplements. This concept works on the assumption that the item being tested is inherently dangerous and toxic. This method is completely the opposite of what should be used when evaluating vitamins and minerals.  As Dr. Rima Laibow states in her article "'Nutraceuticide' and Codex Alimentarius:"
This use of risk assessment, of course, represents a major deflection from the real use and value of risk assessment, which is to make sure that people are not exposed to the dangerous industrial chemicals that have serious and sometimes lethal effects on them and their children.[4] 
By applying “scientific risk assessment” to nutrients and supplements, they are essentially considering them toxins as they are lumped into the same category as chemicals and poisons. There is no need to explicitly state that “nutrients are toxins.” This is done by default. So, in the end, we have the categorization of vitamins and minerals that are essential to human health and life as something that is actually toxic. In this sense, we are entering the world of doublethink.

Regardless, this is the position of Codex, as well as the position of the U.S. Delegation throughout the discussion.[5] Indeed, even many alleged “health freedom” International Non-Governmental Organizations were either gullible enough to be taken in by the promise of the benefits of risk assessment, or morally bankrupt enough to be bought off by the pharmaceutical industry or others who might benefit from the demise of the natural supplement industry. Yet, some of the support for risk assessment methods early on seems to have been based on the fear of the implementation of maximum limits proposed by European countries like France. These limits would have reduced the potency level of each pill to no more than 15% Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), a figure that is already set much too low. [6] Yet those who favored risk assessment seemed to jump from the frying pan into the fire. As Scott Tips of the Natural Health Federation writes:
The so-called 'science-based risk assessment' for establishing Safe Upper Limits (maximum levels) for vitamin-and-mineral potencies, to which the EU has agreed, and about which the Americans are as happy as flies on cow dung, is nothing but a trap. The Americans think that they will be able to get real science to establish high maximum levels for their vitamins and minerals and then sell them to European consumers by the bushels. But by the time the Europeans get through applying their science, those maximum limits will be so low toddlers would be lucky to get any nutritional value out of Codex-harmonized vitamins and minerals. The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food has already started using its science-based risk assessment to establish laughably low maximum limits for European vitamins. And, lately, I have begun to see a growing concern, if not outright fear, in the faces of some science-based risk-assessment proponents that perhaps things might not go their way here after all.[7]
Indeed, things are not going “their” way. That is, if the general wish is that Codex would offer up new trade opportunities for American supplement manufacturers in the form of a new European market. To be sure, it takes monumental ignorance to actually believe this. Nevertheless, trade associations like the International Alliance of Dietary Food Supplements, National Nutritional Foods Association, and even the Council for Responsible Nutrition are proclaiming that Codex poses no threat to their access to supplements and, specifically, to the DSHEA law which was passed in 1994.

In general, those individuals who rely on these organizations for their knowledge of the legal and political workings of the industry take these reports as truth, trusting them as “credible” sources.  It should also be noted that it is widely known that members of various natural health/supplement trade organizations are increasingly being purchased by the pharmaceutical industry themselves. Once this is acknowledged, one can understand more fully how disinformation spreads around the supplement community and encourages apathy and a false sense of security among the populace.[8] 

Maximum Upper Limits on vitamins will be set for the few temporarily remaining nutrients as well as the complete removal of others from multi-vitamin supplements. The ramifications for human health and national sovereignty will therefore be extremely destructive. As always, this global domination and subversion of national sovereignty will be done in the name of trade, and the true aims of the perpetrators will be cloaked in flowery language, wordplay, and semantics. It will also be done right under our noses. 

Notes:

[1] “Codex Alimentarius: Codex – government and corporate control of our food supply.” Alliance for Natural Health Europe. http://www.anhcampaign.org/campaigns/codex.
[2] “Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements.” Codexalimentarius.net  www.codexalimentarius.net/download/standards/.../cxg_055e.pdf
[3] Ibid.
[4] Laibow, Rima. “’Nutraceuticide’ and Codex Alimentarius.” Alternative and Complementary Therapies, October 2005. P. 227.
[5] Tips, Scott C. “Breathe Easier – Codex Adjourns.” Codex Alimentarius: Global Food Imperialism. Ed. Scott C. Tips. FHR. 2007. P. 33.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Tips, Scott C. “A Meeting Of Two.” Codex Alimentarius: Global Food Imperialsim. Ed. Scott C. Tips. FHR. 2007. P. 101.
[8] Tips, Scott C. “The Maginot Mentality.” Codex Alimentarius: Global Food Imperialism. Ed. Scott C. Tips. FHR. 2007. P 220. 

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius - The End of Health Freedom 

Related Articles by Brandon Turbeville:
The History of Health Tyranny




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