Thursday, July 2, 2009

CODEX—government and corporate control of our food supply?

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CODEX—government and corporate control of our food supply?



* The Codex Alimentarius Commission was set up in the early 1960s by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) under the auspices of the UN.

* It has more than 20 inter-governmental committees working to develop standards and guidelines governing different aspects of food production and safety. It also has task forces looking at issues such as GM foods and biotechnology.

* There are strong links between the interests of Codex and those of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which can impose heavy fines and sanctions against non-compliant countries.

* Genuine concern for consumer health and welfare comes second to serving the interests of multinational food and drug companies.

* Codex poses a direct threat to our freedom to access natural foods, herbs and dietary supplements and to take personal responsibility for our own health and welfare.

* Key Action Points

The Codex Alimentarius Commission is responsible for establishing a system of guidelines, standards and recommendations that guides the direction of the global food supply. It aims to tell us what is safe, but in the process often uses criteria that are manipulated to support the interests of the world’s largest corporations.

Codex Alimentarius, certainly in alternative circles, is often claimed to be the single greatest threat to our continued access to natural health products and wholesome foods. Robert Verkerk, of the Alliance for Natural Health, challenges some of the misconceptions and explains both what Codex is really about and what else we should be concerned about.
Misinformation about Codex

There is a rumour circulating that Codex will come into force on December 31st 2009. This rumour is incorrect. This date actually represents one of many implementation dates of the European Food Supplements Directive and is nothing directly to do with Codex.

The text for the Codex Guideline on Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, which has been based closely on the EU Directive—sharing some of its text verbatim—was ratified in July 2005 but is unlikely to finalised until around 2012 or 2013. It is only at this time it is likely to be used as the basis for national and regional laws in many parts of the world. To a large extent, Codex guidelines on food supplements are irrelevant to Europeans as they simply reflect the European laws on which they are based and it is the laws that ultimately affect our access to products, not the Codex guideline.

Many other guidelines and standards, for example those affecting genetically modified (GM) foods and organic foods are complete, although they tend to be subject to regular amendment.

Some of the misinformation on Codex appears to be deliberately disseminated, while other parts are unwitting reproductions of the misinformation by concerned yet naive individuals. Among the common erroneous facts are:

* All nutrients (eg. vitamins and minerals) are to be considered toxins/poisons and are to be removed from all food because Codex prohibits the use of nutrients to ‘prevent, treat or cure any condition or disease’.

* All food (including organic) is to be irradiated, thus removing all ‘toxic’ nutrients from food (unless consumers can source their food locally).

* Nutrients allowed will be limited to a Positive List developed by Codex; it will include such ‘beneficial’ nutrients as fluoride (3.8 mg daily), sourced from industrial waste.

* All nutrients (eg. vitamins A, B, C, D, zinc and magnesium) that have any positive health impact on the body will be deemed illegal in therapeutic doses under Codex and are to be reduced to amounts negligible to health, with maximum limits set at 15% of the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). You will not be able to obtain these nutrients in therapeutic doses anywhere in the world, even with a prescription.

* It will most likely be illegal to give any advice on nutrition (including in written articles posted online and in journals as well as oral advice to a friend, a family member or anyone).

* All dairy cows on the planet are to be treated with Monsanto's genetically engineered, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH).

* All animals used for food are to be treated with potent antibiotics and exogenous growth hormones.

* Use of growth hormones and antibiotics will be mandatory on all livestock, birds and aquacultured species meant for human consumption.

* The worldwide introduction of unlabelled and deadly GMOs into crops, animals, fish and plants will be mandated.

These are big claims indeed. They are also deeply worrying for anyone who cares about managing his or her health naturally, be it by consuming copious quantities of wholesome, organic whole foods or taking lashings of supplementary vitamins, minerals and herbs — or both. The problem is that these claims are not all true. Some are actually quite far off the mark, yet most contain elements of truth.


Following are three video clips created by BBC5tv that were filmed immediately following Dr Robert Verkerk's presentation on Codex at the Alternative View 2008 conference in Totnes, UK, April 2008

Part 1 of Interview (what is Codex? etc) To view video and read the rest of this important article:

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