Subject: Others Found Guilty in Vitamin Price Fixing Scam: 2 US/2 German Drug Firms Plead Guilty - They're Trying to Get Via CODEX What they Can't Get Due to the US Justice Dept.
From: John Hammell
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 14:25:03 -0400

All Webmasters: Please post.

Everyone, please forward to more people. Call Congress demanding a Codex oversight hearing, call your countries Codex delegate to demand that deliberations on the vitamin issue immediately CEASE! Demand that the NAS paper be removed from the table along with the Discussion paper on Agenda item #10 "Discussion paper on the scientific criteria for health related claims" which was jointly written by the USA, Germany, France and Denmark. (Paper includes FDA's Guidance Document to Industry on Significant Scientific Agreement, same issue they're being charged with Contempt of Court over in the Pearson case, and which the Grocery Manufacturers of America are demanding they withdraw completely in a petition that they filed.)

IAHF List: [AP Article below my comments] Note that more drug companies are still being busted by the Justice Department for the price fixing scam wherein they ripped off vitamin manufacturers and consumers for 10 years on the sale of vitamin raw matarials. This scam first surfaced last year when Hoffman La Roche and BASF were heavily fined along with Daiichi Fine Chemicals and Takeda.

Note that Nepera Inc., based in Harriman, N.Y. and Reilly Industries of Indianapolis were busted for trying to fix the price, and control the supply of niacin, Vitamin B-3.

Would there happen to be any connection between this sort of crookedness and the arbitrary UL of 35 mg placed on Niacin within the NAS paper "A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Levels for Nutrients"? (If they could get niacin regulated as a "drug" in high potencies couldn't they make far more money from it?) You don't suppose these bastards might try to do via CODEX what the Justice Dept has stopped them from doing, do you?

Also is interesting that The German company Degussa-Huls AG was also charged in the Niacin conspiracy, and that Merck KgaA, also based in Germany, was accused of a plot to similarly fix the price and control supplies of vitamin C.

Please call your Congressman and request an Oversight Hearing on the Codex Vitamin Issue!

Others Plead Guilty in Vitamin Plot

Updated 9:04 PM ET May 5, 2000

By ALICE ANN LOVE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two U.S. and two German drug companies agreed to plead guilty and pay $33 million in fines for participating in a conspiracy to fix the price of vitamins sold worldwide, the Justice Department said.

In criminal cases filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Dallas, the department charged that Nepera Inc., based in Harriman, N.Y., and Reilly Industries Inc. of Indianapolis conspired with others to raise and fix the price and control the supply of vitamin B3, also known as niacin.

Two Nepera executives also pleaded guilty in separate cases for their roles and agreed to pay fines and serve prison terms.

The German company Degussa-Huls AG was charged separately in the vitamin B3 conspiracy.

In a sixth case, Merck KgaA, also based in Germany, was accused of a plot to similarly fix the price and control supplies of vitamin C.

With Friday's cases, the Justice Department's Antitrust Division will have collected more than $758 million from 24 prosecutions against participants in international vitamin cartels.

"We will continue to vigorously pursue convictions and significant sentences against corporations and businesses who violate U.S. antitrust laws to the detriment of American consumers," said Joel Klein, assistant attorney general for the antitrust division.

Justice Department officials say the vitamin conspiracy lasted from January 1990 to February 1999 and affected the price of vitamins commonly used as nutritional supplements or to enrich human food, such as milk and bread, as well as in animal feed.

In the conspiracy, the European and U.S. companies agreed to increase and maintain prices and to limit supplies of the vitamins A, B2, B3, B5, C and E.

Merck will pay a $14 million fine for its role in vitamin C price fixing.

In the B3 conspiracy, Degussa-Huls will pay a fine of $13 million, Nepera of $4 million and Reilly Industries of $2 million.

Roger Noack, former Nepera president, agreed to serve eight months in prison and pay a $50,000 fine for his role in the conspiracy. David Purpi, the company's former vice president for sales and marketing, accepted a prison sentence of a year and a day and a $100,000 fine.

Among other companies implicated in the vitamin conspiracy, the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. pleaded guilty last May and agreed to a $500 million fine, the largest federal criminal fine ever imposed.

Also last year, a German firm, BASF AG, agreed to pay a $225 million fine for its role in the conspiracy.