To: IAHF List
Subject: IAHF Response to Whole Foods Market's Contention That Codex is a "Non Issue"
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 20:55:03 +0100
IAHF List: Yesterday I had a conversation with Joe Dickson from the corporate office of Whole Foods, a huge chain of supermarket sized health food stores which are members of NNFA. You can see the statement (below) which Whole Foods has been sending out to concerned vitamin consumers on the Codex issue-- and IAHF's response to it.
As you can see, Whole Foods has been echoing the NNFA "party line" (which is that Codex is a "non issue" that "does not threaten to impact US domestic law".
You can see IAHF's response to Whole Foods below. I am hoping to have a follow up conversation about this on Monday with Joe Dickson, who I might add is a very polite person who I think might come around if he takes the time to examine this information carefully. Please don't call him yourself. Let me handle that on monday.
Please print out this email, and hand carry it to health food store owners and managers all over America and the World, especially to franchises of Whole Foods. Together, we can break through the spin of Sidley, Austin, Brown and Wood LLP. It amazes me that members of NNFA feel comfortable with this lawfirm as their trade associations legal counsel given the huge number of pharma clients the firm has. This is a total conflict of interest.http://www.sidley.com/practice/group.asp?groupid=25
Unless enough people assist IAHF in urging store owners and managers to examine this closely, an extremely restrictive global trade standard for vitamins and minerals will be ratified in July at Codex, and nations world wide will be forced to harmonize their laws....
We must create the awareness necessary to
A) Sue the FDA to block ratification of Codex vitamin standard.
B) Conduct a global PR campaign against ratification of Codex vitamin standard.
C) Remove the USA from the WTO & the UN.
Quality & Assurance Dept.
Whole Foods Market Corporate Office
550 Bowie Street / Austin, TX 78703 / 512-542-0392
Please see my response below to this mssg which Whole Foods is emailing to vitamin consumers requesting assistance from Whole Foods regarding Codex.
My response is a follow up to the conversation we had yesterday (Friday 2/11) You should be aware that on November 18, 2004 an Emergency Health Freedom Meeting was held at the ACAM alternative medical conference in San Diego to address this issue, and that it was emceed by Jonathan V. Wright, MD. See the DVD of this meeting on streaming video at http://www.glycommunity.com/iahf
WHOLE FOODS MSSG TO CONSUMERS Re CODEX
"Thank you very much for your message. Whole Foods Market has closely
followed the activities of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods
for Special Dietary Uses, the body which regulates the marketing of
dietary supplements in the European Union.
However, dietary supplement sales in the US are regulated by the
provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of
1994. The application of the CODEX (EU) standards to the US market would
require the repeal of DSHEA through an act of Congress. While these
changes may take place in Europe in 2005, they will not affect the US
Whole Foods Market, along with the industry groups with which we are
affiliated, continues to closely monitor the US dietary supplement
market. We will always work to ensure that safe and effective dietary
supplements are available to our customers.
Whole Foods Market / National Marketing and Communications
550 Bowie Street / Austin, TX 78703 / 512-542-0392"
I appreciate your willingness to enter into a dialogue with me about Codex.
I am copying this email to three attorneys who share my concerns:
Scott Tips, Legal Director, The National Health Federation
Ralph Fucetola, http://www.vitaminlawyer.com and David Hinde, Legal Director of the Alliance for Natural Health (UK)
On March 17, 1997 acting FDA Commissioner Michael A. Friedman stated the following in a speech before the Senate Labor Committee " FDA plans to amend its regulations and procedures for consideration of standards adopted by Codex. This action is being taken to provide for the systematic review of Codex standards in order to enhance consumer protection, promote international harmonization, and fulfill the United States obligations under international agreements." FDA/CFSAN Federal Register 62 FR 36243 July 7, 1997 http://www.fda.gov/ola/1997/319.html
Lets start with something I think we can both probably agree on:
I'm sure you would agree that the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences has recently called for the repealment of DSHEA.
That they have done this is a matter of public record:
The IOM produced a 327 page report calling for Congress to "revisit DSHEA" and to put the burden of proof on safety back on manufacturers.
The report urges Congress to require supplement manufacturers to be required to meet the same burden of proof for being allowed to market their products and to make claims about them that pharmaceutical manufacturers have to make. AHPA has charged that the IOM Report is seriously flawed:
This attack on DSHEA in not happening in a vacuum, but to be seen clearly must be viewed in the global context of widespread pharma attacks on our industry via the EU Food Supplement Directive & Codex, especially given that Codex will ratify a global trade standard for vitamins and minerals between July 4-9, 2005 in Rome unless opposition occurs. As things stand now, the FDA is doing nothing to oppose ratification of a Codex vitamin standard- indeed, they're pushing hard to make it as restrictive as possible so they can get via harmonization what they haven't been able to get through legislation on US soil.
FDA EMPLOYEE IS "ON LOAN" FROM FDA TO WHO WHERE SHE IS IN CHARGE OF
FILLING IN THE BLANKS ON ALLOWABLE POTENCY LEVELS OF VITAMINS & MINERALS AT CODEX-
Christine Lewis-Taylor is currently "on loan" from the FDA to the World Health Organization where she is leading their "risk assessment project" for vitamins and minerals.
What Taylor (and the US FDA) are doing is that they're "filling in the blanks" on allowable potency levels at CODEX, utilizing ONLY the opinions of pharma shills primarily from 3 groups considered by the World Trade Association to be "the experts" on the safety of vitamins.
Those 3 groups are the IOM at National Academy of Sciences, the UK's so called "Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals (consultants to their Food Standards Agency) and the EU's Scientific Committee on Food.) There is zero transparency in how Taylor is selecting the dozen applicants for the "Nutrient Risk Assessment Workshop" that she'll be holding in Europe in May. WHO will not divulge the names or CVs of any of the people on the selection panel, but there is no reason to expect any scientific honesty or objectivity from this FDA Dietician when it comes time to fill in the blanks....
NNFA would have its members believe that a "great victory" has been won at Codex because a move to base potency levels on RDAs was scrapped in favor of basing them on "scientific risk assessment". The question is: is what they're calling scientific ACTUALLY scientific- and is it really noticably better than RDAs?
Prominent orthomolecular physician Alan Gaby MD has analyzed the junk science of the UKs "Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals" (which is similar to the junk science coming out of NAS, the Nordic Ministries Council, the German Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, and the EU's Scientific Committee on Food- and he's pronounced it pseudoscience- see his article
"Safe Upper Levels for Nutritional Supplements- One Giant Step Backward" JOM Vol.18 3rd & 4th Quarter 2003 #s 3 &4 http://www.iahf.com/20040127.html
DO THREE INTERLOCKING EVENTS IN NOVEMBER SIGNAL THE END OF HEALTH FREEDOM?
Here is an excerpt from this article which explodes the contention of NNFA's attorneys that Codex "can't impact US law"
"Incredibly, several apparently well meaning lawyers with no experience in WTO/Codex law or politics have touted the notion recently that it doesn’t matter what happens at Codex, since no nation is bound in its domestic law to what happens at Codex unless that nation files a notification and acceptance of Codex standards or guidelines with the Codex Alimentarius Commission. While even to suggest such a thing in the post WTO world seems like the height of folly, nevertheless, these positions, however off the cuff and/or misquoted, have gained a certain traction within portions of the dietary supplement industry and alternative health community in North America.
Fortunately amid all this bad news coming out of Bonn and Paris, there is at least an end to this absurd folly. Let us be clear here, with the acceptance and ratification of the results of the Uruguay Round in 1995 that formally created the WTO and introduced both the SPS and TBT into international trade law, it is absolutely irrelevant whether a WTO member country formally accepts a Codex standard or guideline or not. The member country is bound by whatever legal interpretation of a Codex standard or guideline the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body’s Appellate panel applies to that standard or guideline. This is, in effect, exactly what the WTO’s representative had told CCGP prior to last week‘s meeting. So, on November 10th, a number of key players came to the CCGP meeting in Paris with the express idea of ending the obsolete reporting procedures to Codex once and for all. “These acceptance procedures have never worked. Countries ignored them,” US delegation chief Dr. Edward Scarborough told members of the US delegation at a pre-session meeting. “The appellate bodies of the WTO have said quite clearly that whether we, at Codex, vote for or against notification within Codex has no bearing on enforceability,” European Union delegate Henri Belveze told the GP meeting.
So, in the end, the delegates at this year’s meeting of the Codex Committee on General Principles agreed without dissent to recommend the total abolition of both the Codex notification and acceptance procedures. Hopefully this long overdue decision will end the mistaken perception that Codex standards and guidelines have to be individually accepted by WTO member countries in order to become binding upon them."
I'm going to stop with this. I'd appreciate it if you would please review this information which I would like to discuss with you on a conference call with Scott Tips, JD; Ralph Fucetola, JD and with David Hinde (Solicitor) (UK).
John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
556 Boundary Bay Rd.
Point Roberts, WA 98281 USA