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"Codex Alimentarius and What It Means To You"  

by Jackie Buchanan

The following article was written in 1997 for an Internet site. It subsequently was published in several magazines. While some of the references are out of date, Jackie Buchanan's observations based on her investigations remain. It is written for a US audience but the back ground on Codex is still relevant to Australians and New Zealanders. For more information relavent to Australia and New Zealand >> click here

"Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship...denying equal privileges. All such laws are un-American and despotic..." Benjamin Rush, Physician, Signer of Declaration of Independence

Codex Alimentarius, in simple terms, is a code of law for food. What it actually means to each and everyone of us is a threat to our health and the health of every human being on this planet.

The future availability and legal status of herbs, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and all other supplements in the U.S. and throughout the world, may be determined by a committee made up of 146 nations called the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which operates in conjunction with the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is under the guise of protecting public safety through the standardization of food and botanical codes that the commission may be a tool of the international pharmaceutical industry that is intent on making ALL SUPPLEMENTS - herbal or otherwise - available by prescription only.

Established in 1962 for the purpose of setting international standards and codes for foods, the Codex Commission is over-whelmingly composed of German and International Pharmaceutical Corporations. Over 90% of the international organizations ALLOWED to send delegates to the meetings represent giant multinational pharmaceutical corporations. The only consumer organization is the International Organization of Consumer Unions. NEITHER THE NATURAL HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY NOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC HAS ANY REPRESENTATION AT THE CODEX MEETINGS.

Spearheaded by the German pharmaceutical corporations, this Codex Commission plans to ban or reduce dosages - on a worldwide basis - any health statement in relation to any non-prescription supplement, preventive, therapeutic, or otherwise. Moreover, any formulas which would still be available would have to meet the arbitrary restrictions of the Codex Commission. Those nations that do not comply with these restrictions are faced with economic sanctions.

While researching this article, I came across a letter written in 1995 from Matthias Rath, MD to Chancellor Kohl and Members of the German Bundersag, prior to the Codex meeting in Bonn Germany in 1996:

"As a physician and scientist who led the breakthrough in vitamin research which can eradicate heart disease, I feel it is incumbent upon me to address this important matter, as I see it, the attack of the Codex Commission is a desperate act by the pharmaceutical companies to protect their world wide drug market against naturally effective and much more affordable supplements. Particularly disturbing is the role of the German pharmaceutical and chemical corporations within the Codex Commission. Once before in this century, a German pharmaceutical and chemical corporation, I.G. Farben, became responsible for the deaths of millions of people and consequently was dismantled in 1946 by the Nuremberg Tribunal and split into Bayer, BASF, and Hoechst. With the current plans of the German pharmaceutical companies, the predictable dimension of the unnecessary and premature death of millions of people is unavoidable. If the Codex Commission is allowed to obstruct the eradication of heart disease by restricting access to nutritional supplements, more than 12 million people world-wide will continue to die every year from premature heart attacks and strokes. Within the next generation alone, this would result in over 300 million premature deaths, more than in all the wars of mankind together . . ."

When I first read this, I took it with a grain of salt - until I came across an article in Issue 14 of the Alternative Medicine Digest, a reprint of an article that originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal on April 25, 1996. The headline read "They're Scientific When It Suits Them, But a $1.4-Billion Deal is Better than Science." The article opened by saying that if a study which was peer-reviewed by 5 independent medical experts had been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January 1995 as planned, American consumers with thyroid problems would have saved $356 million a year in drug costs.

However, the publication of this article would have wrecked a $1.4-billion deal for its manufacturer, Boots Company, the British pharmaceuticals and drugstore chain. The study documented how Synthroid, which controls 84% of the US thyroid medication market and is used by 8 million Americans, works no better than 3 other lower priced drugs.

The makers of Synthroid - first introduced in 1958 as a synthetic version of thyroid hormone - had never been required by the FDA to submit proper clinical trial data, like other drugs. An unpatented drug for underactive thyroids, Synthroid's vigorous U.S. sales have been protected by something as good as a patent: the presumption that the competing, lower-priced drugs are not bioequivalent, which means that they are not absorbed and assimilated as fast and as well as Synthroid.

The JAMA study proved this presumption wrong and it was about to call an end to Synthroid's free market run. Even worse, the study would have jeopardized Boots' $1.4 billion buy-out by Germany's BASF-AG. How did the study's sponsor, which has invested $250,000 to finance the research feel about it? It was the sponsor itself -- none other than Boots that did everything to discredit the study and block its publication. Quite clearly, scientific evidence takes a backseat to preserving the competitive edge. Another more recent web-site written from a Canadian point of view about how Codex will affect Canada goes on to state:

In October, 1996, Codex met in Bonn, Germany to make radical changes in the rules governing dietary supplements for member nations. The proposals of greatest concern were those made by the German delegation (see the proposed Draft Guidelines for Dietary Supplements) and is being sponsored by Hoechst, Bayer and BASF. These are the three drug companies formed when the Nuremberg War Trials disbanded I.G. Farben, manufacturer of the poison gas used in Nazi concentration camps. This is not the first time that the UN 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."

Can reports from 4 different, totally unrelated sources, be ignored? I think not!

The pharmaceutical company backed proposals for all of 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 supplements 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 allows a nation to set its own standards. This applies to all member countries of the UN. Any nation that does not accept these new standards will be heavily fined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) creating the potential for crippling entire sectors of that nation's economy.
 

4. All new supplements would be banned unless they go through the Codex approval process. Five steps have already been taken in the Codex process over the past few years. 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 favor of adopting the German proposals has been overwhelming (16 for 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.

In the U.S., the FDA has already tried to use guerrilla tactics to stop the use of these supplements. The first time I became totally aware of their horrendous practices was in the case of ESSIAC, the herbal formula that had been researched since the 1920's with excellent results in curing, yes I said curing, cancer. Fortunately, once their tactics came to light, a nation-wide non-violent revolution took place resulting in millions who were appalled at the tactics, writing letters and calling their congressmen and the FDA. The end result, ESSIAC is now widely available in many forms. Even Respirin, the drug company in Canada who owned the rights to the formula has started producing it and selling it via magazine ads and in health food stores. All of this took place in 1989-1990.

In 1992, the FDA raided the Tahoma Clinic in Kent, Washington. The FDA alleged that Dr. Wright, MD was engaged in the commerce of foreign labeled injectable "drugs" (which were actually vitamins). This action interfaced with FDA raids of 17 health food stores in Texas and others in Oklahoma, supplement manufacturing facilities in California, Oregon, and Washington, and other nutritionally-oriented medical doctors across the US. Again, there was a national call to action of everyone interested in preserving their rights to make their own choices in health care. Letters were mailed and faxed to the White House by the millions and once again, the FDA was forced to back off. At this same time Bill H.R. 3642/S2135 was in committee and being reviewed prior to voting it into law. This bill would have given the FDA the power to put the health food and dietary supplement industry out of business. It would have also given them the power to legally conduct warrantless searches, seize and embargo products and levy heavy fines ($250,000 on individuals and $1,000,000 on companies) without a trial. Again, the people of the United States took action and through a powerful campaign whereby they voiced their opinions, another small battle was won for freedom of choice!

In 1995, the FDA attempted to quietly but quickly do away with the use of any type of electronic instrumentation (not already approved) for use in diagnosing, tracking, or treating illness. This would have affected many doctors, dentists, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, etc. Fortunately, they banded together, got their scientific studies and documentation together and, after a long hard struggle, managed to hold their ground and prevent the FDA and other interested parties (pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners who felt that only the usual methods of treatment, ie. surgery and drugs should be allowed) from getting their way.

Now, here we are in 1997 and BY ALL APPEARANCES, the FDA has ceased their efforts to take away our rights to make our own choices about healthcare. Their policy with regard to the Codex standards is stated in the Federal Register of October 11, 1995 - FDA Policy on Standards, which states:

"It is the intent of this policy to enable the FDA to continue to participate in international standards activities that assist it in implementing statutory provisions . . ."

 

and "The development of an international standard that achieves the agency's public objectives is generally, but not always, given a higher priority than the development of a domestic standard . . ."

 

and "Where a relevant international standard exists, or completion is imminent, it will generally be used in preference to a domestic standard . . ."

In considering the above statements about their intentions coupled with their past tactics as well as their continuing policy of ignoring the public's wishes in protecting health freedom, a public outcry against the Codex is again called for. I urge you to educate yourselves to what is really going on here. Most of the information can be found on the Web. In the past 4 months, I have found only one small article about this issue, tucked away in the back pages of Issue 18 of the Alternative Medicine Digest which is on the newsstands now.

If the German and Canadian proposals are passed, it would constitute an effective end run by the pharmaceutical companies around the medical rights of Americans. They wouldn't dare attempt to do this in the U.S. because there would be such a public uproar it would never pass through Congress. However, by taking the stance that they have, the FDA WILL ACCOMPLISH ITS GOALS BY LETTING CODEX DO ITS UNACCEPTABLE DIRTY WORK. The pharmaceutical companies are planning a global takeover of the vitamin-herb industry and within a few short years, they will have succeeded by pushing competitors out of the field. They are planning to do it very quietly and carefully through GATT and the Codex Commission. They will succeed if they are not exposed and their plan is not given national headlines.

This is the last wake-up call that may be given before it is too late. It is of the utmost importance that everyone become aware and voice their displeasure with the leaders of their respective governmental agencies. In the U.S., it is imperative that everyone call and write to their local congressmen. Phone the White House. Call the FDA. Tell everyone you know to do the same. Call your local newspaper and alert them to what is really going on here. If we don't take action now, our freedom to choose will be taken away without most of us even being aware that it had happened!"

President Bill Clinton, The White House, Washington, DC 20500
Phone: 202-205-5372 Fax: 202-260-8957
Email: president@Whitehouse.gov

Dr. Elizabeth Yetley, Director
Office of Special Nutritionals, HFS- 45
US Food and Drug Administration
200 C Street SW
Washington, DC 20204 USA
Phone: 202-205-4168 Fax: 202-205-5295
Email: EAY@cfsan.fda.gov
eyetley@bangate.fda.gov

"For an archived history of Codex and a greater understanding of this issue, I suggest investigating this site: http://www.iahf.com/

I publish medical books for the International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics who were involved in the confrontation with the FDA over electronic instrumentation. I was actively involved with helping them get their documentation together to do battle with the FDA.

Information on the ESSIAC issue came directly from conversations with Dr. Gary Glum shortly after his confrontation with the FDA over publishing a book and distributing the original formula for ESSIAC in 1992.

Dr. Alexander Schauss, Executive Director for Citizens for Health wrote an article published in Pathfinder News, Volume2, Number 4, July-August, 1992 which told of the incident with the FDA vs. the Tahoma Clinic and Dr. Jonathan Wright.

Information about Germany's BASF-AG and Boot's, the makers of Synthroid were first published in the Wall Street Journal on April 25, 1996 and again in Issue 14 of the Alternative Medicine Digest.

A small article about Codex was published in Issue 18 of the Alternative Medicine Digest.

A search of the Internet for 'Codex Alimentarius' will return over 1000 different web-sites dealing with these issues around the world.


Jackie Buchanan is a medical writer with over 25 years in the medical and textbook publishing field as editor, publisher and author. Her lifelong interest in Alternative Healing and Alternative Medicine has led her to be active in numerous healing projects.