The CODEX Beast
Once CODEX is adopted by a nation, there is a "phase-in period" during which the administrative structure is established according to a strict time-table. Bear in mind that in the United States, nutrients are currently classified as foods [under the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA)] and that any substance not explicitly forbidden is permitted as a nutrient in the United States. Under CODEX, any substance not explicitly permitted by CODEX policy is banned as a nutrient.
The CODEX preamble specifies that supplements and nutrients "may not be used to prevent, treat or cure any disorder." Yet, more than 80 percent of Americans use supplements for exactly these purposes. Nutritional and environmental physicians, naturopaths, nutritionists, chiropractors and 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 will become illegal 1) if the United States is "harmonized" with the WTO this spring while compliance with CODEX is still "voluntary," or 2) when total compliance becomes mandatory, as it will be after the next CODEX Commission meeting in Rome.2
Health food stores will no longer be able to market and distribute nutritional supplements. Most health food stores and privately owned nutrient manufacturers will, I believe, no longer be in business after CODEX takes effect.
I know. This is all difficult to believe upon first hearing it. You may have heard that is easy to get people to believe a lie, particularly an outrageous lie. In my experience, the opposite is also true: It is difficult to get people to believe the outrageous truth. Keep on reading, because this is a truth you definitely need to understand.
Once CODEX is implemented (either through "harmonization" or mandatory compliance), we will be forced to follow the European CODEX model in which it will be illegal to manufacture, buy, sell, recommend, or use any but 28 ultra-low dose nutrients whether you are a licensed health professional or not. Only synthetic versions of that short list will be allowed and natural supplements, herbs, enzymes and other non-pharmaceutical treatments will be banned. The only legal health option left will be the pharmaceutical one.
CODEX regulations have been "harmonized" (i.e., approved) in the EU, Canada and Australia. The United States is next unless we act decisively and act now. Though CODEX regulations are passed quietly and without effective public notice in infrequent meetings abroad that are invisible to most Americans, they have grave and devastating impact on American's health freedom.
Here in the United States, the "harmonization" laws which will enact CODEX policy have been defeated by Congress several times, each time by a smaller margin. Given the composition of the current Congress, it is virtually certain that it will be passed unless we take swift and immediate steps to assure that does not happen.
This legislative stealth attack on health freedoms will probably play out in May or early June of 2005 unless we take effective steps to help assure that health freedom becomes the "Mother of all third rails" for every politician in the country.
CODEX is the result of a complex relationship between the UN (which established the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1962); the WTO (which is authorized to enforce CODEX through trade sanctions); the World Health Organization (WHO),which subscribes to the CODEX regulations [despite the fact that they directly and explicitly conflict with their own findings and policies such as the FAO/WHO official publication, "Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases"]; the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) working in concert with industry representatives of (and others unofficially representing the interests of) the pesticide, chemical, pharmaceutical, and dairy industries.
Consumers, health scientists, physicians and other practicing natural medicine and other health-focused voices have been totally absent from official CODEX deliberations. A few observers have been present at official deliberations but they have not been permitted to speak in the sessions.
Full ratification is expected in Rome during the July 4-9, 2005 meeting of the CODEX ALIMETNARIUS Committee.
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. Yet CODEX will take away our health freedoms if we allow ourselves to be "harmonized" or mandated to comply with CODEX.
Everyone knows if they have a jar of pickles and they remove the pickle label and put a mayonnaise label on it, that they're going to find pickles when they open the jar. The packaging of CODEX policy under the label of protection of fair trade, public health, and safety does not make it so. Underneath CODEX's altruistic labeling is a poisoned apple of extremely adverse global policy that is, in fact, driven by economic concerns of large corporate interests.
Once implemented, CODEX ALIMENTARIUS does the following:
1. VITAMINS, MINERAL, NUTRIENTS AND PHYSIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE SUBSTANCES
a. The CODEX preamble forbids the use of nutrients to "prevent, treat or cure any condition or disease".
b. CODEX defines minimum allowable dosages of permitted nutrients as 15 percent of the amounts naturally occurring in foods, while maximum allowable doses of any permitted nutrients may not exceed the dose of that nutrient found in food. Supplement values subtract the amount assumed to be in the daily diet from the maximum allowable dose and the result is the permitted upper limit of a nutrient. This system is based neither in science nor clinical requirements.
c. Higher doses of permitted nutrients and nutrients not explicitly permitted will be classified as illegal substances (in the same class as heroin)
i. Theoretical exceptions exist for natural substances which are submitted and accepted for testing. A substance successfully tested in this way may then be prescribed at the tested dosage only. The permission to use a nutrient in this way, by prescription only, however, expires in 2009.
ii. The cost of this procedure is staggering, most applications for such testing have been turned down and, since natural molecules cannot be patented, potential manufacturers are unable to recoup the costs of testing through later sales.
iii. The period for submission of applications for this process ends on July 12, 2005 and cannot be extended
d. The European Union (EU), whose European Supplements Directive is the model administrative agency for CODEX implementation, permits a total of 28 ultra-low dose nutrients. All other nutrients (e.g., alpha lipoic acid, 1 gram doses of vitamin C, Co Q 10, fish oil, and curcumin) are banned substances and may not be manufactured, distributed, recommended, sold, supplied or be in the possession of anyone, including licensed health professionals. Vitamin C, for example, at any dosage higher than 200 mg per day will be illegal. A gram of Vitamin C will 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) will be illegal because Co Q 10 will be totally forbidden at any dose (following the European Supplements Directive model).
e. The allowable maximum upper limits for permitted nutrients 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. Those which are available will be exorbitantly priced, as current experience in Norway and Germany reveals, where profit margins of synthetic, permitted nutrients are being "harmonized" to match drug profit margins.
i. On August 1, 2005, 75 percent of the natural substances currently available in health food stores and pharmacies in Europe will become illegal as a direct result of CODEX.
f. Only synthetic forms of permitted nutrients will be available. All natural versions will be illegal substances. Only synthetic nutrients (at ultra-low dosages) manufactured by pharmaceutical companies will meet the molecular standards for use in humans or animals.
2. HERBS AND HERBAL TREATMENTS
a. Herbs, originally part of the CODEX deliberations, were summarily removed and placed under a closed committee of the WHO where they are held to be untested drugs and therefore illegal
b. The European Supplements Directive, the model agency for CODEX administration, has produced a very short list of herbs which may be used and the conditions for which they may be used (another short and very trivial list).
c. All other applications of herbs and any other herbs besides those listed are strictly forbidden
d. There is the possibility that a few formulas of well known Chinese herbal medicines may be exempt (but that remains to be seen)
3. TRADITIONAL HEALING ARTS
a. CODEX stipulates which conditions may be treated using herbs and allows only minor, self-limited conditions. Treating any other conditions with herbal remedies will constitute a crime.
b. Some complex oriental herbal formulas may be permitted but most will be lost.
c. Ayurvedic, Tibetan, tribal and other traditional medicines which use herbs and natural substances will be forbidden world-wide. Since most people do not have access to pharmaceutical medicine, this effectively removes the legal possibility of people legally accessing any form of tribal or traditional medicine.
d. Herbal, shamanic, energy based (e.g., Reiki and acupuncture) medicine are forbidden forms of treatment
4. GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs)
a. CODEX 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, for example, must purchase their seeds from Monsanto and are forbidden from retaining seed crops under the new Iraqi constitution. Similar laws exist in other less exotic places.
b. 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 the incidence of birth defects, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, severe allergies, and a host of other conditions have a causative or contributory relationship with increasing levels of pesticide exposure that 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 planet.
5. TOXIC RESIDUES
a. CODEX sets permissible upper limits for pesticide residues, toxic chemicals, hormones in food and other environmental contaminants that are many times higher than levels advocated by chemical and pesticide industry lobbying groups.
b. The current "acceptable" levels of toxins are already responsible for most of the incidence of cancers, heart disease, autism, chronic degenerative conditions, and organ failures that associated with mortality and morbidity globally. Increasing the permissible levels of toxins can only accelerate personal and global suffering.
6. ANTIBIOTICS, GROWTH STIMULANTS AND OTHER HORMONES IN FOOD ANIMALS
CODEX mandates that all animal feed must be treated with antibiotics, hormones and growth stimulants world wide.
b. Organic, free range and biodynamic farming will become illegal.
7. IRRADIATION OF FOOD:
a. CODEX mandates irradiation of food under circumstances now hotly contested 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 non-industry scientists) since there is considerable scientific evidence that protein structures are modified in unhealthy ways by introducing ionizing
radiation into food before it is consumed.
b. The irradiation of food produces huge free radical populations. The only protection against their pervasive damage is high doses of anti-oxidants (which will be illegal under CODEX).
At this point it will likely come as no surprise to you that there has been no effective representation from health advocates, nutritional supplement manufacturers, natural healthcare professionals, or other non-pharmaceutically
oriented group at the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting. The Codex Alimentarius Commission meets every two years, always offshore (Rome, Bonn, Paris, etc.) and never in Smallville, USA, a fact that helps perpetuate its
opacity to the United States citizenry. The United States' representatives to the Codex Alimentarius Commission 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 standards.
CODEX sets international standards for everything from parmesan cheese to sweet cassava, canned sardines to chicken meat, Echinacea to rice. The standards which comprise CODEX are virtually complete: final ratification of the entire package is expected at the Codex Alimentarius Committee meeting in Rome from July 4-9, 2005.
Before ratification, "harmonization" is "voluntary" but can be enforced by WTO trade sanctions. After ratification, compliance with CODEX is mandatory and enforcement by the WTO is a powerful threat to make sure that it is complied with properly.
It is imperative that concerned health professionals and their patients, friends, relatives, suppliers, etc., become fully activated to stop CODEX from being enacted in the United States.
Now that we know more about the boat in which we are adrift, let me hand you a paddle. This threat to our profession and to our ability to choose the type of healthcare for our selves demands one of the most powerful tools available to us: grass roots political action. We can use the Democratic Process to our advantage by
1. Becoming activated. If you do nothing now, when CODEX is ratified you will have nothing left of your environmental or nutritional medicine practice. It is imperative that you alert your colleagues, friends, patients, relatives, suppliers and everyone else you know to this danger so they can join you in taking effective action.
2. FAX, do not use regular mail, your Congressional Delegation re: your strong outrage at the limitation of our health freedoms through CODEX and a group of domestic efforts to reclassify nutrients as drugs and eliminate them as foods. Visit www.healthfreedomUSA.org to find your Congressional Delegation's and FAX numbers to Congress.
3. Provide sample letters and a list of local Congressional District members' FAX numbers for patients in your office. This information is available on the Natural Solutions Foundation website, www.healthfreedomUSA.org.
4. Become a supporter of the Natural Solutions Foundation, a not for profit organization (of which I am the Medical Director) to preserve, protect and defend health freedom in the United States www.healthfreedomUSA.org.
We would all like to put our heads in the sand and try to believe that CODEX would, could and should not happen here. But it can and, unless we take action now, CODEX will become the law of our land.
For a discussion of the domestic legislative assault on health freedoms, go to www.healthfreedomUSA.org.
Whether your motivation is global or local, professional or personal, I ask that you take action now. FAX letters supporting health freedom, a safe food supply and a clean world: FAX letters to Congress and alert your entire network to do the same.
Yours in Health and Freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Natural Solutions Foundation