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October 29, 2005

Codex Alimentarius: No Emphasis On Nutrients

Codex Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Guidelines adopted in the Codex Commission session in Rome this summer leave little doubt that nutrition - that is, sufficiency of nutrients for individual good health - is not one of the priorities of this international organisation charged with developing food standards and food hygiene rules. Yet, the Codex Nutrition and Special Foods Committee hosted by Germany has come up with a giudeline. Admittedly, it is a rather bland document and the effects - as is often the case - will be seen only years down the road - when other, secondary pieces of the legislation are in place, such as a "risk assessment" on the supposed dangers of vital nutrients.

There was a brief moment of hope I had also reported on at the time as it seemed that some comments in the Rome Codex session were indicating a more nutrition-friendly approach as a definite possibility. While it would be good to see such a change, it seems that much of the elation was based on misinterpretation of what was actually said.

The Rath Foundation has posted a well researched account of what actually transpired. There seems to be little likelyhood for a new and more nutrition-friendly approach of Codex any time soon.

Instead, nutrient substances such as vitamins and minerals are viewed in Codex Alimentarius discussions much like the dangerous chemicals that Codex should keep out of our foods but doesn't. We see this in the overview of the latest Codex developments as excerpted from the NHF (National Health Federation) newsletter. Paul Taylor reports.

- - -

Codex Battle Prepares to Move on to Act II
by Paul Anthony Taylor
 
Although the Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements have now been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, there still remains much to play for in the battle to maintain and improve our health freedoms. Thus far, for example, the upper safe levels for the Guidelines have not yet been set,  nor are there any restrictions on the forms of vitamins and minerals that can be used in dietary supplements.
 
As regular readers of this newsletter will be aware, the Guidelines were drafted by the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), who meet once a year each November in Bonn, Germany. This year's meeting of the CCNFSDU will be held during 21-25 November, and NHF will once again be sending a delegation to attend and report back on the outcome.
 
Three items on the agenda at this year's meeting are of particular importance to anybody who has an interest in health freedom.
 
Proposals for Additional or Revised Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) for labelling purposes
 
The proposal to consider additional or revised nutrient reference values (NRVs) for labelling purposes was originally made at the November 2003 meeting of the CCNFSDU, and this year the Codex delegates will be considering a discussion paper prepared by South Africa.
 
NRVs can essentially be thought of as a way of describing the nutritional requirements of the average person. Naturally, however, this presents us with a problem because, given that each of us is genetically unique, can it really be said that there is such a thing as an 'average' person?  Moreover, in considering 'requirements' the fundamental question arises as to whether we are talking about the nutritional requirements for ordinary health, or those for optimum health.
 
The European Union and its allies will doubtless be pressing at this meeting for the NRVs to be set as near to RDA levels as possible. Fortunately, however, the discussion paper prepared by South Africa shows clear evidence of support for the argument that NRVs should reflect the most recent scientific research, in order to promote optimum health and reduce the risk of disease in the majority of people. As such, it is expected that the opponents of natural health and health freedom will very likely be trying every trick in the book at this meeting in order to achieve their aims.
 
Recommendations on the Scientific Basis of Health Claims
 
This CCNFSDU agenda item is crucial to the future of health freedom, because, in order for chronic disease to become largely a thing of the past, dietary supplement manufacturers need to be able to provide truthful and non-misleading information about their products.
 
At present, however, health claims for dietary supplements are mostly either illegal or subject to strict regulatory controls in the vast majority of countries. Unsurprisingly, therefore, rather than making it easier for dietary supplement manufacturers to print lifesaving information on their product labels, the current draft of these Recommendations appears to have been prepared in such a way as to allow the current unacceptably restrictive regulatory controls to be enforced still further.
 
The European Commission delegate famously stated at the 2003 meeting of the CCNFSDU that health claims for vitamin and mineral supplements should be prohibited. Given therefore that the CCNFSDU Chairman stated at the same meeting that drugs are to mitigate and prevent diseases, and that the role of food supplements is to support the diet, the type of world that Codex envisages is now becoming increasingly apparent.
 
Discussion Paper on Risk Analysis
 
This CCNFSDU Discussion Paper is particularly crucial to the future development of the Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, as the Guidelines state that the upper safe levels of vitamins and minerals in supplements will be established by scientific risk assessment. Notably therefore, when this issue was discussed at last year's CCNFSDU meeting, the committee indicated that it would be dealing with the "over dosage of nutrients." The content of this year's Discussion Paper continues in much the same vein, making it abundantly clear that the CCNFSDU will be treating vitamins and minerals as dangerous chemicals, as opposed to essential dietary elements. Until such time as this approach changes, therefore, our health and our freedoms will continue to remain seriously at risk.
 
The agenda items and documents discussed above can be downloaded from here (PDF)

To read other excellent articles on Codex, check out the NHF Codex page


See also:

Codex Animation by airlock - a concerned teenager ...

Go Find The Truth And It Will Make You Sick

CODEX: WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU AND YOUR HEALTH?
Codex is not just about nutritional supplements. In fact, it is the primary political battlefield where the war is being waged about who will regulate and control the global food supply from farm to fork. This 'war' is being waged by an increasingly tangled web of global authorities, big business and financial interests, and, as such, trade and profit are its prime goals Ė not human health.

 


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Saturday October 29 2005
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2005/10/29/codex_alimentarius_no_emphasis_on_nutrients.htm

 


Related Articles

Codex Nutrition Committee: Supplement Guidelines Final
Tuesday 2 November 2004 - The Codex Alimentarius Nutrition Committee sitting in a week-long conclave here in Bonn, formerly the capital of Germany, has concluded its deliberations of proposed international Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. I am sitting in this meeting together with Scott Tips and Paul Taylor of the National Health Federation, one of the only consumer-centered bodies allowed in the meetings, and certainly the only NGO that... [read more]
November 03, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Codex 2003 - Grossklaus and Mathioudakis: Nutrition not relevant to Health
November 3-7, 2003, the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for special dietary uses met in BONN, Germany, for their once-yearly come-together. On the agenda for discussion were, before baby foods and the description of healthy properties of food on labels, the proposed Codex Giudelines for "Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements". Such guidelines would be, once passed, the equivalent of international law to be followed in all commerce of vitamin... [read more]
November 25, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Codex and the Titanic's Deck Chairs
Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic is the title of the report of Scott Tips, correspondent of Whole Foods Magazine and representative of the National Health Federation on this year's meeting in Bonn, Germany where, in the first days of November, the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Special Dietary Foods - CCNFSDU - had its yearly conclave. I have previously reported on this meeting, and have also posted... [read more]
December 04, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Codex Alimentarius Adopts Vitamin Guidelines
4 July 2005 - The Codex Alimentarius Commission has voted to adopt potentially restrictive guidelines for vitamin and mineral supplements proposed by the Codex Nutrition Committee. In its 28th session here in sun dried, heat plagued Rome, the planet's supreme food regulator has given a nod to industry in approving guidelines for food supplements over the strenuous opposition of consumer representatives. Several associations representing consumers and health practitioners were present... [read more]
July 04, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Globalizing Health - Documentary Exposes Codex, FDA, WTO Agenda
I just watched a documentary, produced by Kevin Miller, that takes up the subject of international health legislation, as promoted by the European Union, Codex Alimentarius, the FDA and other, lesser players. "We become silent" is the first comprehensive effort to bring together testimony and information about an ongoing battle for health freedom. Under the pretext of "protecting consumers", international rules are being put into effect, first in Europe but... [read more]
June 29, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

Food Safety: Codex Backs World GM Experiment - Could AFRICA Be Control?
Food is of crucial importance to good health. The international food code, also called CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, was set up in the 1960's, ostensibly to promote the safety of foods. But recently, Codex has come up with an extraordinary piece of advice: "Be careful about those nutrients." A Codex Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplement Guideline adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Rome in July this year says just that. On... [read more]
September 15, 2005 - Sepp Hasslberger

 

 

 


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