From a correspondance with Dr. Rima Laibow MD regarding CRN's
role in CODEX.
CRN (Council for Responsible Nutrition)
Q. Is it true CRN is one of only 2 supplement organizations that have gained
official non-governmental status with Codex?
A. Yes. The other is NNFA. Although I know that IADSA, the International
Association of Dietary Supplement Associations, is present at the CODEX
Q. What does Codex Alimentarius simply translated mean?
A. "Food Code".
Q. What is Codex
A. They are charged with establishing international standards, guidelines and
principles for use in international food trade.
Because of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement, SPSA, the
impact is much greater. CODEX is without any legal strength but its
guidelines, regulations and standards are
1. upheld and enforced by the WTO through trade sanctions
2. by the WTO going to court in the US (as it has done 24 times and won
every case) to change US law
3. by endorsing the enactment of national law to conform with CODEX
by countries in the developing world and
4. by forcing compliance on a domestic basis with CODEX standards,
regulations and guidelines through the SPSA, especially clause 3
which requires that member nations of the WTO SHALL (emphasis added)
bring their domestic laws into compliance with CODEX. The reference is found
at http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/ .
Q. I hear a great deal of information saying CODEX will not bother the US.
What's the truth?
A. The general information that has been circulating the Internet about
various Codex codes being implemented are fallacies.
There are many people in this world and some of them are circulating
fallacies on the internet about CODEX. The Natural Solutions Foundation is
NOT one of them. Our information is supported by references, most often
from CODEX documentation and those references are freely available on the
site so people can determine the accuracy of what we are telling them for
themselves. Where opinion is presented, it is clearly labeled as such. The
fallacies, alas, are on the part of the CRN and NNFA (along with various
agencies like the FDA. I have documented those fallacies in excruciating
detail on the site in such locations as "CODEX Disinformation"
Q. Which allegations are true, specifically?
A. That the membership list of the CRN (posted on the CRN site) and the
affiliations of the officers and board members are heavily weighted by the
presence of BASF, BAYER, Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, Wyeth,
Kemmet and a host of other biotech,pharmaceutical and chemical companies
and that this membership and board roster alters the perspective and interests
of the group.
Q. There is a lot of hype around the "sky is falling"? Can you comment?
A. Others may use a "sky is falling" tactic to make a living. Since I closed a
full time medical practice in order to take this threat to health and health
freedom on, this is hardly a good way for me to make a living. Our donors
send us donations ranging from $1 (many) to $2500 (very, very few). We are
not selling anything and this is not how a physician and a Major General
need to make their livings, I assure you. If it were, we would have long
since closed up shop. We are spending our time, our energy and our own
financial resources to alert the US Congress and the US populace to this
clear and present danger. Unfortunately, CRN and NNFA are definitely part
of the CODEX Coma problem. Anyone who looks at the CRN press releases
and statements around CODEX will see abundant praise for the coming of
CODEX which will protect us from all those dangerous supplements which the
US Congress unanimously accorded the status of foods (which cannot have
an upper limit) and which should be freely available.
CODEX, as already being implemented through the European Food
Supplements Directive, slated to go into effect in Europe on August 1, 2005
and slated to remove 75% of all health and nutritional products from their
shelves permanently, is worthy of alarm. The restrictive and, in the US, illegal,
Vitamin and Mineral Guideline is slated for ratification next week during the
CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission meeting in Rome. CRN has NOT
advocated that DSHEA be the international standard even though, according to
Title 19, USC 3512, harmonizing with a standard, regulation or guideline which
violates US Law is illegal (DSHEA and the FDA Modernization Act of 1997 which
specifically prohibits the harmonization of supplements by the US).
This illegal CODEX policy has been legally challenged by the Natural Solutions
Foundation though a Citizen's Petition which was presented to the US CODEX
Manager and has been joined in by many hundreds of Americans as well as
endorsed through a Congressional Letter to the CODEX Manager from 3
Congressmen (letter mounted on site). Another Congressman is creating a
"Dear Colleague Letter" and has given a 5 minute speech from the floor of
the House of Representatives to endorse our position on the illegal nature
of the same Vitamin and Mineral Guideline which CRN, as an NGO, has NOT
opposed and has enthusiastically endorsed. The sky is not falling: it is
being pulled down by pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnical interests and
CRN is providing a step ladder for them.
Q. Aren't international regulations a good thing? Do you endorse them?
A. Absolutely nothing in my work or that of the Natural Solutions Foundation
says any such thing. I think international standards are a problem but,
until CODEX, they were not my problem. What I have said, what the Natural
Solutions Foundation says and what our web site,
http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/ says is that DSHEA and other protective
regulations are important bulwarks of health freedom and that they MUST be
protected and advocated.
CODEX will help US manufactures market low dose "nutrients" at doses so low
that they are designed to have no effect on any human being, no matter how
sensitive (through the faulty application of Risk Assessment, a discipline within
Toxicology). But if a US manufacturer markets high-potency, DSHEA compliant
nutrients here and a CODEX-compliant country says that their nutrients do not sell
here because Americans want the non-CODEX compliant ones, since the other
country is in compliance with CODEX domestically and we are not, the case will
AUTOMATICALLY be decided against us and we will be hit with trade sanctions
of the other country's choosing in any sector of our economy.
Further, there will be economic pressure to manufacture fewer, not more, lines
of nutrients and world markets are bigger than domestic ones. At the same time,
legislative pressure to bring the US into conformity with CODEX is already in the
works, we believe. Legislation to gut DSHEA is nothing new. This will give that
impetus a major thrust despite the rapidly emerging literature on the safety and
efficacy of nutrients for the prevention, treatment and cure of degenerative chronic
In fact, a joint publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World
Health Organization presented to CODEX Delegates at the 2004 meeting of the
CODEX Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)
called "Diet and Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease"
states that 89% of the deaths in the developing world are due to the chronic
degenerative diseases of under nutrition and toxicity. They stress the importance
of nutrition and supplemental nutritional feeding yet the CCNFSDU Chairman,
Dr. Rolf Grossklaus, a physician, rejected this notion stating, "Nutrition has no place
in medicine". (Reference available at http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/).
Nations of the developing world are being urged to adopt CODEX guidelines
and standards as their domestic law. The effect will be to make the
international shipment of nutrient dense materials illegal and to make the
use of nutrient supplemental feeding illegal in those countries. References
provided at http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/.
Q. Don't the Codex promotors say that their guidelines will have no direct
implications for the USĀ?
A. This is simply not true. Unfortunately, the assertion that this is true is not
bourn out by fact and international agreement. The fact is that this statement,
and its variations, has been repeated by the FDA, NNFA, CRN, etc., so often
that it has the ring of familiarity accorded to truth. The problem is that
it is NOT true. Please start at my disinformation article at
http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/ followed by the Citizen's Petition and detailed
letter presented to Dr. Scarbrough in response to his request for written
questions and comments (also on the site) for a detailed analysis of the law
and agreements which exist to make exactly this, CODEX impact on the US, a
In addition, although CRN may be interested only in the nutrient issues,
CODEX is a much, much broader problem which I have detailed on the site as
well. The threat that CODEX presents domestically and internationally to
health and well-being around supplements is replicated around toxin levels
which are permitted and the elimination of clean, unadulterated food which
CODEX mandates world wide.
Q. Won't Codex standards and guidelines impact only international trade
(standards for import) unless a country decides to adopt them as domestic
A. Please refer to the documents noted above at http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/
Q. Won't CRN work to assure the best interests of the US dietary supplement
industry are represented.
A. Unfortunately, CRN has not done so by supporting CODEX restrictive limits
and guidelines. Harmonization with the restrictive guidelines in nutrients
would violate the US law which forbids the US from harmonizing with an
international standard which violates US law. The Vitamin and Mineral
guideline alone violates DSHEA and the FDA Modernization Act of 1997. Why
has CRN not been upholding DSHEA as the international standard if its center
of gravity is not with the pharmaceutical and biotechnical, chemical and
synthetic nutrient manufacture/marketer side?
Where is the dedication to the interests of the dietary supplement industry
which purveys high quality, natural nutrients and specialty formulations made by
small and medium sized companies which would have been much better served
by vigorous support, using its rare platform as a supplement organization NGO,
through active support of DSHEA as the international standard. Not only would the
real interests of the supplement industry, not the pharmaceutical/chemical/biotechnical
industry's bite of that industry, have been served better, but the health of the world
would have been better served as well. Unfortunately, CRN has chosen not to pursue
that option and thus, gives significant pause when considering its assertion that it is
working "to assure the best interests of the US dietary supplement industry"
Q. I thought CRN, an organization comprised of Americans, would value the impact of
personal choice since that is how nutrients are sold: through the exercise of
A. Supplement companies love personal choice: it keeps them in business.
Pharmaceutical, biotechnical and chemical companies would not benefit: their
history is not to support of consumer choice since their products are
given by order or are used before the consumer gets to make his/her choice
(as with the unlabeled use of GMOs so prevalent in the US despite consumers
desires to avoid them.)
Dr. Rima Laibow M.D.