Is this group working with drug companies to restrict vitamin access?
There is growing concern among many of the manufacturers of vitamins supplements and their consumers in the United States that severe restrictions could be placed on the products they make and buy for their health if a group called Codex Alimentarius gets their way. Codex Alimentarius, which is from the Latin meaning "Food Law," has been commissioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to help regulate food and food supplements around the world.
Codex was created in 1962 by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be an advisor to nations around the world regarding food standards and acting as an advocate for the consumer. However, actions in recent years by the leadership of Codex have shown that they have moved away from that original mission and have a somewhat more sinister desire to create major changes in the vitamin supplementation industry for the benefit of pharmaceutical companies.
Any decision made by Codex supposedly supercedes any national, state or local laws that may be in place according to certain world trade agreements. This is a problem in countries like the United States where vitamin supplements taken by tens of millions of Americans are readily available for people who want to purchase them on virtually every street corner. But Codex is apparently working behind-the-scenes to concoct strict rules and spread rumors about the safety of supplements as if they were prescription drugs. In other words, this group is treating vitamin supplements as a drug rather than a food product.
Part of their plan also includes setting limitations on the amount of supplements that can be sold to one consumer without a prescription from their doctor. This is very serious stuff and it's happening right under our noses! Codex will make the case that overconsuming vitamin supplements without proper guidelines is just too dangerous for them not to step in and place these "necessary" restrictions on them. That may seem hard to believe based on the plethora of choices that abound in virtually every drug store in America right now, but it's true!
Unfortunately, though, most people already fail to get enough vitamin supplementation for their bodies to work at their optimum level. That is why I devote an entire chapter of my upcoming book about my weight loss to this subject because it is a key element of any healthy lifestyle, including livin' la vida low-carb. What Codex is attempting to do is take away your right to get the vitamin supplements that you need. This process won't happen overnight, but it has indeed happened already in another country with devastating effects. Just look at GERMANY.
The following "Proposed Draft Guideline for Dietary Supplements" in Germany written by Codex is being viewed as the template for all countries to eventually adhere to regarding vitamin supplements:
1. No dietary supplement can be sold for prophylactic (preventive) use or therapeutic use.
2. No dietary supplement sold as a food can exceed potency (dosage) levels set by the commission.
3. Codex regulations for dietary supplements would become binding, (which means that the escape clause within GATT that allows a nation to set its own standards would be eliminated);
4. All new dietary supplements would automatically be banned unless they go through the Codex approval process (which would be very expensive, only slightly less extensive than the current FDA drug approval process, and which would create an unleveled playing field in which only the large pharmaceutical companies could afford to compete.)
Is this not scary? Can you imagine how this "guideline" would effect the availability of vitamin supplements in the United States? Let's not imagine because Germany is already showing us what would happen.
If you go to a German health food store or pharmacy, something peculiar has happened to the vitamin supplements that are so familiar in most American stores. The selection is severely limited to obscure products that are not in very high demand while the actual vitamin supplements that people want and need are reserved for prescription use only. I'm not kidding! They even keep the vitamins locked up behind the pharmacy window like they would prescription drugs! Incredible!
Even worse is the prices are severely jacked up once these vitamin supplements are considered on the same level as prescription drugs. A bottle of 250 caplets of 1000 mg Vitamin C costs about $23 in the United States, but the price of the same product is $50-$100 depending on where it is purchased. This is just wrong!
What are people who cannot afford to pay the higher price for their vitamin supplements supposed to do when these products are priced out of their budget? The answer is they will have to do without and lose the benefits that taking vitamins provides them and eventually have to be put on a prescription drug of some sort to take care of the sickness that was being prevented by the vitamins. This means bigger bucks for the pharmaceutical companies over the long-term. Is there more concern for making more money or for the health and well-being of the people taking these supplements?
Even more disturbing is the fact that this pointed agenda being undertaken by Codex runs parallel with the attacks against dietary supplementation by the pharmaceutical companies. It seems these vitamin supplements are actually making people get better from their illnesses and the high and mighty drug companies will have nothing of that. For far too long prescription drugs have been force-fed to the public as the only way for them to improve their health. But with so many possible side effects from taking various prescription drugs (can you say Vioxx?), people have turned to vitamin supplements to assist them with their ailments. Why else has this book soared to the top of the bestseller charts at Amazon.com?
The scary thing is that many of the supplement companies have been bought out by the pharmaceutical companies so they can control the market of their biggest financial threat. This has had and will continue to have a direct effect on both price and availability of vitamin supplements in the years to come.
Look for even more stories about so-called studies that have been conducted that tell you how awful taking vitamins are for your health. Tactics like this will continue in an effort to dupe people and especially federal lawmakers into believing you are more harm than good to your body by taking vitamin supplements. But remember, VITAMINS ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Codex knows this as does the pharmacuetical companies. But why should the truth get in the way of them making bigger profits, hmmm?
Thankfully, the United States protects vitamin supplements under a food designation law called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) passed in 1994. The good news is our Congress is currently considering legislation that would help strengthen that law even more.
In May 2005, a bill called "The DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2005" (H.R. 2485) co-sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton from Indiana and Rep. Frank Palone, Jr. from New Jersey was submitted for consideration. This bill calls for further funding of the law implemented in 1994 to help protect the 158 million Americans spending $20.5 billion on vitamin supplements as of 2004, which is more than double what was spent when the law first took effect just ten years prior.
Another bill under consideration was also submitted in May 2005 called the "Dietary Supplement Regulatory Implementation Act of 2005," or H.R. 2510. Co-sponsored by Rep. Frank Palone, Jr. from New Jersey and Rep. Brad Sheman from California, this bill would not only allow for progressively more funding to support the 1994 law, but it would also allow for more staffing in the Food and Drug Administration to pay better attention to the vitamin supplement industry.
But both of these bills have been stuck in the House Subcommittee on Health since June.
If you are as concerned about the actions of Codex and how they could someday cause vitamins to become outlawed in America as they were in Germany, then please contact your Congressman and Senators and urge them to support any legislation that strengthens DSHEA. It may seem preposterous to you in 2005 that vitamin supplements could possibly be restricted someday, but this is something that we must take very seriously to prevent it from EVER happening. Don't let what happened in Germany happen here in the United States of America.
Find the contact information for your Congressman by clicking here and your Senators by clicking here. Take action today!
9-13-05 UPDATE: I got this e-mail from one of my readers today about a grassroots group battling Codex:
I'd like to thank you for writing about Codex Alimentarius. It is a hugely important issue and the mass media is silent about it. The Internet is the only channel for averting the loss of health freedomto Codex Alimentarius.
The reason I'm writing you is to introduce you to Rima E. Laibow, MD, who is working to spearhead a health freedom movement to avert Codex Alimentarius. She is the Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation, and supervises www.HealthFreedomUSA.org, where she offers her meticulous analysis of the Codex problem.
People can use the activism tools that Dr. Laibow provides. Reading about Codex is not enough - people must take action. Prominent health bloggers like yourself are crucial in the effort to protect health freedom.
There's this interesting quote from one of America's Founding Fathers at the HealthFreedomUSA website:
"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson
Start making noise about what Codex is doing and stop them from bringing their radical anti-freedom agenda to America!