Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
October 12, 2005

Why EU Legislation (CODEX) Can Affect Canada And The US


..."The Codex black box was opened a crack by the April 5 opinion handed down by Justice Leendert A Geelhoed, the European Union Advocate General, who happened to refer to the arbitrary powers of the Codex-supporting EU legislation as being "about as transparent as a black box". The box was opened wider on July 12th when the European Court of Justice provided a ruling for the EU that zeroed in on the central problem of the entire Codex exercise, namely the preference for synthetic over natural medicinal substances. This is key to understanding Codex, why EU legislation can affect Canada and the US, and what the current health freedom movement wants to achieve....

....This is key to understanding Codex, why EU legislation can affect Canada and the US, and what the current health freedom movement wants to achieve....

The July 12th ruling of the International Court of Justice in Luxembourg followed the July 4th Rome meeting of Codex when the 85 countries present ratified these restrictive guidelines for dietary supplements. Canada and the USA were among them. Objections from China and South Africa were ignored. Just as in the original 2001 version, the current guidelines, under Article 6 (2) of the EU Directive, strictly prohibit information about diseases being treatable by nutrients and call for future supplement dosage restrictions. Conspiracy? No way! To borrow a phrase by Moynihan and Cassels about Big Pharma's tactics in general: "This is daylight robbery."....

Most helpfully, a British filmmaker has produced a documentary on Codex entitled "We Become Silent". It will be aired in the US late this year and seen by an estimated 25 million people."

For those still confused, this excellent article by Helke should demystify CODEX and it's ramification particularly in North America. It is a must read by all to bullet proof us against contrary propaganda of the vested interests (Health Canada Bull on Codex and others). As usual I have further embellished it with additional links.

Chris Gupta
---------------
Codex update

European court cases stall pharmaceutical companies' plans to control natural supplements.

Dateline: Sunday, October 02, 2005

by Helke Ferrie

What do airplanes, pharmaceutical drugs and Codex Alimentarius have in common? Answer: a black box. When an airplane crashes, it's black box, retrieved from the wreckage, contains the record of events up to the moment of the crash and enables analysts to determine the cause of the tragedy. The US Federal Drug Agency (FDA) "blackboxes" a drug when post-marketing experience shows it killed a lot of people and frequently produces potentially fatal side effects. Doctors are informed accordingly in the US and Canada. When consulting the annually-updated CPS (Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties), you will see literally a black box under such drugs with warnings printed inside.

Codex Alimentarius is a black box containing most of what you wish you didn't have to know about the transformation of medical science into a purely iatrogenic enterprise. The late Ivan Illich coined the word "iatrogenic" from the Greek iatros, meaning "physician" and genesis, meaning "creating". Iatrogenesis refers to physician-caused illness. Codex is the political equivalent of the current toxicology manuals because it endorses and promotes for international trade and consumption in the whole wide world everything from pesticides to irradiation, genetically engineered foods and synthetic analogs for drugs and nutrients in preference to bio-compatible natural substances.

Codex does have the power to impose regulations that could restrict the availability of vitamins worldwide.

The Codex black box was opened a crack by the April 5 opinion handed down by Justice Leendert A Geelhoed, the European Union Advocate General, who happened to refer to the arbitrary powers of the Codex-supporting EU legislation as being "about as transparent as a black box". The box was opened wider on July 12th when the European Court of Justice provided a ruling for the EU that zeroed in on the central problem of the entire Codex exercise, namely the preference for synthetic over natural medicinal substances. This is key to understanding Codex, why EU legislation can affect Canada and the US, and what the current health freedom movement wants to achieve.

Their rulings both came in response to legal challenges launched by Dr Robert Verkerk, the executive director of the UK Alliance for Natural Health ( ANH www.natural-health.org). His litigation questioned Codex's supporting EU legislation. Dr Verkerk said in a telephone interview on September 16: "It is a serious mistake for you in Canada and the US to believe that whatever happens here in Europe will not happen to you."

By virtue of its mandate from the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Codex does have the power to impose regulations on the world that restrict the dosages of and even the very availability of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids, probiotics as well as traditional Chinese, Aryuvedic and other old systems of medicine. Codex would have succeeded in doing just that in Europe in August of this year, if the ANH hadn't gone to court.

In 1990-2000 about 7.8 million victims suffered death from properly prescribed and implemented medications.

To understand how all this hangs together we need to go back to the beginning of this process: On November 6, 2001, the European Parliament tabled Directive 2001/83/EC, which states in section 2 and 3 of its preamble the following: "The essential aim of any rules governing the production, distribution and use of medicinal products must be to safeguard public health. However, this objective must be attained by means which will not hinder the development of the pharmaceutical industry or trade in medicinal products within the European Community."

However, since 2001, several factors have shaken the public's faith in pharmaceuticals. For example, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors updated its guidelines in October 2004 and specifically warned against all the ways that pharmaceutical sponsorship could influence journal articles. www.icmje.org/#conflicts

Dr Carolyn Dean has written, in Death by Modern Medicine that in 1990-2000 about 7.8 million victims suffered death from properly prescribed and implemented medications. In particular, she stated that "There have been 140,000 fatal or near fatal reactions to Vioxx; one third of the millions of women who took fen-phen, the weight loss drug, suffered heart and lung damage; heart disease is caused by Celebrex and all the other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Prozac is causing suicides and homicides as well as heart disease... "

A new book, Selling Sickness, by Ray Moynihan, charges that pharmaceutical companies are quite deliberately trying to sell drugs to people who aren't sick at all ­ these being a much larger market than actual sick people.

Big Pharma has demonstrated that it fully understands that its products do not work, often kill, and usually harm, as proven by the research they themselves did to establish the toxicity of their products but then hid from the regulators (see Let Them Eat Prozac). Big Pharma staff understands the superior biochemistry of natural substances. Recently, the prestigious British Institute for Science and Society (ISIS) put the whole puzzle together: www.i-sis.org.uk/CFV.php

ISIS reports that pharmaceutical corporations have started to buy up vitamin and mineral companies. Merck has acquired Lamberts, and Wyeth bought Solgar. Virtually all raw materials for supplements are produced by the big pharmaceutical companies, such as Bayer and Hoffman-La Roche. "In fact," Sam Burcher reports on ISIS's website, "drug companies have gained control of food supplements through pharmaprinting, the result of collaboration between PharmaPrint Inc and the University of Miami. Pharmaprinting is a technology that isolates and measures the bioactivity of an active compound of any plant or natural remedy and replicates it in a laboratory. These compounds are standardized as pharmaceuticals for government approval [necessary for patenting]. Patents are currently pending on pharmaceutical versions of some of the most useful herbal remedies such as St John's Wort (for depression), Echinacea (immune function) Ginko Biloba (brain function), Saw Palmetto (prostate function) and mistletoe (alternative cancer treatment)."

ISIS reports that pharmaceutical corporations have started to buy up vitamin and mineral companies.

Subsequent clinical trials cost about $ 6.5 million per product and gaining patent protection costs another half a million dollars. The whole process takes five years. ISIS observes that, "investors are reluctant to commit unless market exclusivity is assured. One way of creating an exclusive market is to ban or remove natural remedies. The existing US health care market is estimated to be worth US $ 1.5 trillion [which] makes it worth manipulating. [Therefore] the 'foods as drugs' guidelines laid out by Codex were adopted by Australia, Denmark, Germany and Norway and many products have been co-opted by pharmaceutical companies and repacked as drugs. The Health Protection Branch of Canada has registered 'natural therapeutic' food products as drugs. Fish oil (for joints), cranberry capsules (urinary problems) and hawthorn berries (heart) have all been issued DIN numbers (drug identification number)." ISIS concludes, that "this is a thoroughly disproportionate degree of 'protection' imposed on what are in effect harmless food items, especially when conventional drugs kill" so many people every year.

Agricultural and pharmaceutical corporations are trans-national. Sound business practice requires international harmonization in trade. Because most 171 Codex member states are also World Trade Organization members, the stage is set for world-wide trade harmonization. Ratified Codex guidelines are enforced among its members by the WTO court (which operates in secret) as well as by CAFTA, NAFTA and several more trade treaties involving Europe, Australia and North America. Each of these treaties has clauses referring explicitly to Codex for the simple reason that the major players are the pharmaceutical, agricultural and food producing corporations that want to remove every possible trade barrier ­ or, to put it another way: reduce responsibility for quality.

We live in a world in which corporations hope to create designer customers who are offered one-size-fits-all products to make them into corporate engines of wealth. Today, the customer is the last resource on earth that is not totally controlled and exploited. Customers who ask questions concerning quality, safety and especially sound science are the only formidable barrier remaining to corporate world control.

The July 12th ruling of the International Court of Justice in Luxembourg followed the July 4th Rome meeting of Codex when the 85 countries present ratified these restrictive guidelines for dietary supplements. Canada and the USA were among them. Objections from China and South Africa were ignored. Just as in the original 2001 version, the current guidelines, under Article 6 (2) of the EU Directive, strictly prohibit information about diseases being treatable by nutrients and call for future supplement dosage restrictions. Conspiracy? No way! To borrow a phrase by Moynihan and Cassels about Big Pharma's tactics in general: "This is daylight robbery."

Eight days after the Rome meeting, the International Court of Justice handed down a ruling that surprised everyone. The judges conceded that EU countries were free to have a law that regulated production and trade in dietary supplements, namely the EU Directive, which also forms the basis of the international Codex guidelines. However, the judges agreed with the Advocate General Justice Geelhoed who had in April put his finger on a sore spot and observed that there was a rather odd "preference for the inorganic forms [of vitamins] which results in unjustifiable and disproportionate exclusion of their natural forms, which are, nevertheless, common in the normal diet and generally better tolerated by the body." Justice Geelhoed had also noted that the Directive requires completely unnecessary toxicity studies: "It would be odd to start the evaluation procedure [of all supplements according to risk assessment principles used for toxins and synthetic drugs] from zero again, when it is clear that the products concerned have already undergone [tests] establishing safety and bioavailability [which should be used] as the existing evaluations as a starting point."

2005 was a close call: had the Alliance for Natural Health not appealed to the EU Advocate and then proceeded to the International Court of Justice, Europe would have been the first vast area virtually under complete Big Pharma control. Most vitamins and minerals would have been banned from the European market on August 1 this year, some to return at exorbitant prices after Big Pharma had identified and created patented synthetic analogs.

Now, however, the game has shifted. Big Pharma is no longer solely in control, except in countries that have already adopted these stringent guidelines, such as Denmark, Australia, and especially Germany. I received an email on September 6th from Germany informing me that a bottle of 90 vitamin E capsules now costs 45.50 Euros, which is about $ 70 ­ manufactured, patented and marketed by a pharmaceutical company and, in limited amounts, available without prescription. This price is about seven times higher than in Canada.

Furthermore, the Court dealt a terrific blow to Big Pharma and the corporate agenda by ruling that this restrictive Directive does not apply to vitamins and minerals in their "natural forms", but only to those from "synthetic sources or those derived from a manufacturing process using chemical substances." Thus, natural substances that have necessarily been part of our diet for the past several million years cannot be regulated in a restrictive manner, nor can they be subjected to toxicity studies in the same manner as is necessary for synthetic chemicals used in drugs. The ANH lawyers who led these two legal challenges state that "food supplements in the EU [will] not be classified as drugs and [will be] readily available across the EU."

However, the battle is far from over. The Court did not forbid the scientific assessment of supplements as part of this international trade harmonization process. That means, they can still be subjected to corporate-driven phony science and be sold at very high prices in very low dosages to make more money from less ­ which, according to the ANH and Dr Verkerk is exactly what the industry now wants to achieve. Whose science will be used? Big Pharma's "tobacco science", or independent science based on actual research, not financed by any industry? The International Court of Justice clearly orders independent scientific assessments, but enforcing this is another matter. Dr Verkerk said that several leading universities in Europe have joined the health freedom movement in order to establish an assessment process that is truly scientific and not corporate controlled, to ensure that meaningless low dosages will not become the standard. Research institutions and medical organizations in the US are also joining. An international health freedom conference on Codex is taking place in Minneapolis on October 28 30th to hammer out strategy.

Most helpfully, a British filmmaker has produced a documentary on Codex entitled "We Become Silent". It will be aired in the US late this year and seen by an estimated 25 million people. On Saturday, November 5th, I will be showing it for the first time in Canada at OISE in Toronto (12 noon 4 pm) and I will report on the results of the Minneapolis conference. The film shows how Codex may affect Canada, unless we all work to protect natural medicine, which actually works.

Sources:

M Angell, The Truth About The Drug Companies, Random, 2004 (former editor New England Journal of Medicine)
C Dean, MD, Death By Modern Medicine, Matrix Verite, 2005

S Ellison, Health Myths Exposed, Author House, 2005 (former drug designer for Big Pharma)

D Healy, MD, Let Them Eat Prozac, Lorimer, 2003

J Kassirer, MD, On The Take: How Medicines Complicity With Big Business Can Endanger Your Health, Oxford University Press, 2005 (former editor New England Journal of Medicine)

R Moynihan & A Cassels, Selling Sickness: How The Worlds Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients, Nation Books, 2005 (from the British Medical Journal and Canada's CBC)

Related addresses:

URL 1: www.kospublishing.com/ forwarded by Zeus Information Service Alternative Views on Health www.zeusinfoservice.com All information, data and material contained, presented or provided herein is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinion of Zeus Information Service. Subscribe Free/Unsubscribe: info@zeusinfoservice.com

 


posted by Chris Gupta on Wednesday October 12 2005

URL of this article:
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2005/10/12/why_eu_legislation_codex_can_affect_canada_and_the_us.htm

 

 


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