CODEX question

To those of you who might have skipped this one based on the non-ag 
veneer of the first paragraphs, please read the following stripped down 
version of this recent sannet post.  

Is this for real, or some zany internet paranoia? If those of you who are 
Codex literate could enlighten those of us who are not, I would be much 


In October, 1996, Codex met in Bonn, Germany to make radical changes in the
governing dietary supplements for member nations. The proposals of greatest
were those made by the German delegation ("Proposed Draft Guidelines
for Dietary Supplements") and is being sponsored by Hoechst, Bayer and
BASF. These are the three drug companies formed when the Nurenberg War
Trials disbanded IG Farben, manufacturer of the poison gas used in Nazi
concentration camps. This is not the first time that the U.N. has been linked
closely with Nazi war criminals.  Ostensibly, their purpose is to
"....create a
set of international standards to guide the world's growing food industry and
to protect the health of consumers." If you really believe that, I have some
ocean front property for you at half price in Saskatoon.

The drug company backed proposals call for the following:
1. No vitamin, mineral, herb, etc., can be sold for prophylactic
(preventative) or
therapeutic reasons
2. Natural remedies can be sold as food but they must not exceed the
potency (dosage)
levels set by the commission.  This means that consumer access to dietary
will be limited to the RDA dosage as a maximum limit for vitamins (vitamin
C - 60 mg,
vitamin E - 15 mg, etc.). Supplements without an RDA (e.g. coenzyme Q10)
would be
illegal to sell because they would all become drugs.
3. Codex regulations for dietary supplements would become binding,
eliminating the
escape clause within the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that
a nation to set its own standards. This applies to all member countries of
the U.N. Any
nation that does not accept and apply these new standards will be heavily
fined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) creating the potential of
crippling entire sectors of that nation's economy.
4. All new supplements would be banned unless they go through the Codex approval

Five steps have already been taken in the Codex process over the past few
Remember Canadian Bill C-7 which was passed eventually in Canada as C-8? The
similarity of the process, the secrecy and the wording between the Codex
proposals and the Canadian laws is uncanny. Voting in favour of adopting
the German proposal has been overwhelming (16 for and 2 against in the most
recent vote). The Codex process is now at "Step Five"- formalization and
debate concerning the specific features. In two years, Codex could jump
from step 5 to step 8 to finalize these restrictions.  The Codex proposals
already exist as law in Norway and Germany where the entire health food
industry has literally been taken over by the drug companies. In these
countries, vitamin C above 200 mg is illegal as is vitamin E above 45 IU,
Vitamin B1 over 2.4 mg and so on. Shering-Plough, the Norway pharmaceutical
giant, now controls an echinacea tincture which is being sold there as an
OTC drug at grossly inflated prices. The same is true of ginkgo and many
other herbs and only one government controlled pharmacy has the right to
import supplements as medicines which they can sell to health food stores,
convenience stores, or pharmacies.

According to Dr. Matthias Rath, researcher and author who discovered a
between vitamin C deficiency and heart disease, the three Nazi-linked drug
companies pushing so hard for the German proposal, Hoechst, Bayer and BASF,
are also manufacturers of heart drugs. Obviously, with the vitamin
competition gone, nothing will stop their profits.

IS CANADA INVOLVED? Yes, very much so. According to John C. Hammell,
legal advocate for the U.S. based Life Extension Foundation, the
Nazi-linked proposals
have the backing of Canadian and French Codex commission representatives.
In June of 1996, the Codex Executive committee will be creating an "expert
panel" on herbs which is likely to generate a "negative list" to prevent
public access to certain herbs internationally (see the list below). The
formation of this "expert panel" was advocated by none other than the
Canadian representatives. Why then are the HPB and the CHFA denying that
the Codex proposals will have no impact on the availability of nutritional
supplements in Canada? Either spokespersons for these two groups are
ignorant about the proposals or they are lying to the public in order to
protect drug company profits. After all, several voting members of the CHFA
are owned by or are subsidiaries of major drug manufacturers or
pharmaceutical chains. Neither group can be trusted to give the public
straight answers about the Codex scam. They are in a clear conflict of
interest since they stand to gain financially when the supplement prices
are boosted out the roof.

Further evidence of Canadian involvement is the HPB position on what is or
is not a food or a drug. This bunch is either cleverly devious about their
of pharmaceutical concerns or just plain dumb. For example, garlic, ginger,
licorice and peppermint are considered to be foods when sold as spices.
If a grocery store manager makes claims for their therapeutic effects,
they then become drugs via a hocus pocus mechanism which remains to be defined.

As it now stands in Canada (and this changes on a regular basis given the
current mood,
blood sugar level or whims of officials at the HPB)  the following list of
available health food store nutritional  supplements are considered
nebulously to be
either "a drug", "a drug even  in the absence of claims" or "a new drug
with claims":
Aloe vera, Astragalus, Bilberry, Capsicum, Cascara sagrada,  Cat's claw,
Dong Quai, Echinacea Augustifolia and Purpurea, Ephedra, Feverfew, Garlic,
Ginkgo biloba, Ginseng, Golden Seal, Gotu Kola, Hawthorne, Java Java, Licorice,
Milk Thistle, Pau D'arco (Taheebo), Peppermint,  Psyllium, Sarsaparilla, Saw
palmetto, Yohimbe...

This list is likely to expand over the next two years. If the Codex and
the HPB have their way, your favourite supplements will be replaced by
expensive, patented, over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Just look what
has already happened to amino acids like tryptophan. Once available for
under $20 for a bottle of 100 tablets of 500 mgs. at your local health food
store, the same tablet is now only available by prescription at a cost of
over $120 at your pharmacy. On top of that, in order to get a prescription
for tryptophan, you will have to convince your doctor to give you one. This
is easier said than done simply because most medical doctors have no clue
what tryptophan does or believe it to be toxic. Project this shallow
thinking on to the herbs listed above and it becomes quite clear that
public access to natural remedies will be a thing of the past. For more
information, documentation and a plan of action that you can take to fight
the Codex proposals, contact:

John Hammell Legislative Advocate
The Life Extension Foundation, 2411 Monroe St. #2, Hollywood, FL 33020 USA
>800-333-2553 954-929-2905 fax: 954-929-0507 >e-mail: John@lef.org Internet:
http://www/lef.org/lef/index.html >