The U.N.'s 'Codex' Threat To
World Health Freedom

(Perceptions Magazine, April 1996)

Few Americans have heard of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) Codex Alimentatious (Nutrition Code) Commission of 'Codex,' partly because it usually meets in Rome.

Very little has appeared about Codex in U.S. newsletters and magazines read by people interested in vitamins, alternative medicine, and health freedom, but it may pose the greatest threat to health freedom in the world today.

The commission meets every two years and any delegates can propose a change in its standards. Attorney Suzanne Harris has reviewed a partial list of international organizations 'allowed' to send delegates and found that more than 90 percent represent giant multinational pharmaceutical organizations. The only consumer organization she saw listed is the 'International Organizations of Consumers Unions,' which means that right now the general public here in the U.S. has zero representation on this critically important committee.

Codex will meet in Bonn this year to make radical changes in the rules governing dietary supplements for member nations. Consumers now face an ominous new threat in the proposals made by the German delegation, called 'Proposed Draft Guidelines for Dietary Supplements.' The German plan called for the following:

  1. No vitamins, minerals , or herbs, etc., can be sold for prophylactic (preventive) or therapeutic use.
  2. None sold as a food can exceed potency (dosage) levels set by the commission.
  3. Codex regulations for dietary supplements would become binding - eliminating the escape clause within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT Agreement) that allows a nation to set its own standards.
  4. All new dietary supplements would automatically be banned unless they go through he Codex approval process. If these Draconian measures are adopted, any party to GATT (e.g., the U.S.) which does not accepts the new standards can be heavily sanctioned (fined) by the World Trade Organization. The WTO will have the right to levy enormous fines on any nation that 'gets out of line' and has the potential to cripple entire sectors of that nation's economy!

    The sole U.S. delegate to Codex has been Elizabeth A. Yeltey, PhD., R.D., of the FDA. Responding to political pressure in the U.S., so far she has voted for health freedom, but with little result - at the last meeting, the vote went 16-2 in favor of the German proposal.

    Clearly, we cannot expect much help from Congress, which surrendered much of its power to deal with the issue when it passed GATT. Under the agreement, member nations must 'harmonize' their rules governing the manufacture of health and medical products with new international standards so as to be in line with them. Congress cannot rescind its vote on GATT - on the contrary, the single U.S. delegate to this international commission can easily be outvoted by delegates from the other member countries.

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