To: IAHF List
Subject: Urge Your Congressman to Attend Staff Briefing on CAFTA/CODEX Issue: See Details- Also Countering More Spin
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 02:28:02 +0200
It is very important that all of you call your Congressman's office to request that they attend a STAFF BRIEFING on the CODEX/CAFTA issue on Wednesday, from Noon- 12:30 PM in Room 1537 Longworth House Office Bldg. Lunch will be included. The Liberty Caucus will be showing
WE BECOME SILENT- the hard hitting documentary on the CAFTA/CODEX issue produced by Kevin Miller which can be viewed at http://www.welltv.com
Seats are limited, so your congressman's office should contact Kent Snyder at the Liberty Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 703-276-2094 if they wish to attend.
CAFTA vote could occur as soon as Wednesday evening, but our sources on the Hill feel it is more likely to occur late Thursday evening, but we must be ready for it at ANY TIME.
CONGRESSMAN CLAY SHAW (R-FL) ATTACKS DIETARY SUPPLEMENT CONSUMERS WITH HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE "DEAR COLLEAGUE" LETTER
We're in the middle of a pitched PR battle, and Congressman Clay Shaw has just turned up the heat several notches by unleashing a "Dear Colleague" letter in which he regurgitates the spin emanating from the USTR's office (which The Coalition For Health Freedom has THOROUGHLY REBUTTED at http://www.coalitionforhealthfreedom.org/issues.html
Congressman Paul's office will be generating a "Dear Colleague" letter which will completely REFUTE the absurd statements in Shaw's letter which you can see below followed by my comments:
Congress of the United States
House Of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0922
July 21, 2005
DR-CAFTA WILL NOT ELIMINATE ACCESS TO DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
Opponents of DR-CAFTA have stooped to a new low. Americ's seniors are recipients of a new round of scare tactics in which they are being told that passage of DR-CAFTA will limit their access to dietary supplements and vitamins. Nothing could be further from the truth.
According to the office of the Untied States Trade Representative, DR-CAFTA will not limit market access of dietary supplements, nor will the agreement force the US to change our regulation of the these supplements.
In fact, DR-CAFTA states that the US and the Central American nations, including the Dominican Republic, do not intend to change existing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and their obligations under the World Trade Organization.
DR-CAFTA is tremendously important to the national security interests U.S. We cannot afford to turn our backs on these infant democracies. We must not allow scare tactics, such as false allegations of limits to dietary supplements and vitamins to deter us from creating balancee trade between the United States and DR-CAFTA countries.
I have included a detailed explanation by USTR regarding DR_CAFTA and the issue of dietary supplements.
E. Clay Shaw, Jr.
Member of Congress
-------------------------IAHF and COALITION FOR HEALTH FREEDOM RESPOND TO THIS DRIVEL:
USTR: "Note: WTO rules, in effect since 1995, have had absolutely no impact on the regulation or availability of dietary supplements in the United States."
COMMENT: So what? There has been no question of this up til now. The Codex Guidelines for Supplements were only ratified on July 4th, 2005, and the blanks on allowable potencies remain to be filled in in November at the CCNFSDU meeting in Bonn, Germany- however with an FDA employee in charge of the effort to fill in the blanks which is occuring via the World Health Organization, it is highly predictable how she'll go about doing this, nor is there any reason to expect that Christine Lewis Taylor, a Registered Dietician will do so in a fashion consistent with current US law.
USTR- "The CAFTA-DR will not limit consumer access to dietary supplements in any way, nor will it change the way the federal government or the US states regulate dietary supplements."
COMMENT: The U.S. has entered into an OPEN ENDED process. The Codex guidelines for supplements were ratified at CODEX this MONTH, and what was ratified was a FRAMEWORK. Codex is not scheduled to fill in the blanks on allowed potencies of vitamins and minerals until November 2005 at the CCNFSDU meeting in Bonn, Germany, so could not begin to impact ANY country until AFTER that meeting takes place.
USTR States: "The Guidelines to NOT establish upper limits for vitamins and minerals in supplements."
COMMENT: Not YET! This statement depends on what your definition of IS, is. The upper limits will be dicussed in November 2005 at the next Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses meeting in Bonn, Germany, with a view toward adoption. And yes, it will not be Codex itself who establishes them. These highly controversial "safe upper limits" will be set by the parent body to Codex, the World Health Organization.
There WILL BE upper limits for supplements, this is just saying they are not in place YET, and splitting hairs as to exactly who is behind them. They can only do this because so few people are following this issue.
Why do they want to deny these upper limits are being created? Because these levels are the cause of outrage in the scientific community, and are the key to the takeover of the supplement industry.
The full remit of Codex is soon to expand beyond vitamins and minerals, likely banning many herbs and traditional medicines, pursuing the European Union's 2006/07 legal direction.
USTR: "In fact the agreement imposes no obligations regarding Codex standards or guidelines."
COMMENT: Not true. It is cited in CAFTA Chapter 6 which dovetails with Article 3, the SPS Section in the WTO Agreement (see below)
USTR: "Chapter 6 of the CAFTA-DR... merely:
Establishes an inter governmental committee to discuss SPS issues of mutual interest. The SPS committee will not seek to harmonize national SPS regulations governing dietary supplements. In fact, Chapter 6 does not require, recommend, or even mention harmonization. The committee will simply work to assist the seven governments in carrying out their _OBLIGATIONS_ under the WTO SPS Agreement." (emphasis added)
COMMENT: These are mutually exclusive statements. Yes, thats RIGHT, the committee will work to assist the 7 governments in carrying out their.... _OBLIGATIONS_ under the SPS Agreement, for the purpose of HARMONIZING their laws as is REQUIRED under the WTO's SPS Agreement. Article 3 of the SPS Agreement states "To harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, members SHALL base their food safety measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations." The WTO has adopted the Codex Guidelines as their world wide standards. http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/sps_e/spsagr_e.htm
This contradicts the claim by USTR "Nothing in the WTO SPS Agreement will require the United States to adopt the Codex Guidelines." This can evolve to ever increasing entanglements due to legal and economic pressure. The US government may or may not wish to harmonize, but it can now be FORCED to.
For additional response to the USTR on this issue see the complete response by the Coalition for Health Freedom at http://www.coalitionforhealthfreedom.org/issues.html
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Many people are receiving responses from their congressmen similar to the one below sent by Congressman Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) Please read it along with my response, and if you receive a similar letter from YOUR congressman, you can respond to it by copying my response (below) and also by providing my response to Clay Shaw's "Dear Colleague" letter.
You must also KEEP CALLING the HOUSE via these 3 toll free #s which take you to the Capital Switchboard 866-340-9279, 877-762-8762, 866-340-9281 If one is busy, try the next!
What to Say:
"I am a dietary supplement consumer opposed to CAFTA. I have seen the policy briefing of the US Trade Representatives Office about CAFTA and Dietary Supplements, and it doesn't hold water, it is very powerfully contradicted by the Rebuttal of The Coalition for Health Freedom at http://www.coalitionforhealthfreedom.org I am aware of Clay Shaw's "Dear Colleague" letter on this issue but it is directly contradicted by the Dear Colleague letter from Congressman Paul, who has his facts straight. If you vote for CAFTA despite my strong objections, I will work TIRELESSLY to drive you from office in the next election, and you will be BLACKLISTED on the website of The Coalition for Health Freedom" (If some wise ass staffer attempts to play devil's advocate with you and tries to pin you down on specifics, you can read from what we cited above from our Rebuttal.)
HERE IS MY RESPONSE TO CONGRESSMAN TERRY (R-NB) If you received a response similar to this one of his, you can copy him on my response below and tell him you share my views:
Subject: A message from Congressman Terry
Dear Mr. Dickson:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). I appreciate the opportunity to learn your views.
Several constituents have contacted me about chapter six of the final agreement, saying they are concerned that DR-CAFTA would limit access to dietary supplements and vitamins. Chapter six of DR-CAFTA does reference CODEX committees as one source of guidance for discussions relating to food safety, and human, animal and plant health. However, I am confident for several reasons that chapter six provides no authority to any committee to either develop or mandate any guidelines related to dietary supplements in the United States for several reasons.
First, the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 specifically exempts dietary supplements from trade discussions and "global harmonization initiatives." The fact is, discussions regarding food safety may be important in the facilitation of trade among countries, but under U.S. law dietary supplements will not be a part of these discussions. Also, U.S. law also requires the U.S. Trade Representative to work with the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that consumer protection is protected consistent with U.S. law, in any meetings with representatives of other countries regarding these issues.
Finally, neither European law, nor Codex guidelines dictate the sale, availability, or content of supplements marketed in the United States . Only law enacted by the U.S. Congress will do so.
I understand there may be therapeutic properties to a number of dietary supplements. As long as products are not harmful and their labels are not false or misleading, I support an individual's right to use supplements that have no been prohibited by the FDA. Under the provisions of the Dietary Supplement and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must show that a supplement is unsafe and causes harm before it can be removed from the market.
Thank you again for contacting me with your concerns. Please feel free to contact me again on this or any other issue that is important to you.
Member of Congress
11717 Burt Street, Suite 106
Omaha, NE 68154
We urge you to send your staff to the STAFF BRIEFING thats been scheduled by the Liberty Committee to air this documentary film WE BECOME SILENT http://www.welltv.com which reflects our concerns on the CODEX/CAFTA issue. The film is narrated by Dame Judi Dench, famous British Actress, and it raises serious questions about globalization. The Founding Fathers warned us about entering into "entangling alliances". This staff briefing will be held on Wednesday, from Noon-12:30 in the Longworth building, and lunch will be included. If you wish to send staff, please contact Kent Snyder at email@example.com or call him at 703-276-2094
As the person who did the work on Capital Hill that resulted in the FDA Modernization Act of 1997 being amended to specifically exempt dietary supplements from harmonization language which impacts the whole REST of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (everything ELSE the FDA regulates), I must inform you that your comments provide me with zero reassurance, here is why:
My amendment made it ILLEGAL for the FDA to take ANY ACTION at the meetings of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Use, or at the Codex Committee on Food Labeling, or at the General Meeting of Codex such as the one just held on July 4, 2005 in Rome Italy that is INCONSISTENT with current US law (DSHEA). I know that the FDA is violating the law by IGNORING my amendment due to a letter I received from FDA attorney L.Robert Lake who made it abundantly clear that the FDA intended to ignore the will of the people, and the will of Congress by taking positions at CODEX that go diametrically against US law (DSHEA).
On March 20, 2001, a congressional oversight hearing that COULD have brought the truth out on this issue was WHITEWASHED when I was barred from presenting testimony along with my witnesses. The vitamin trade associations do not speak for the vitamin CONSUMERS in this country (the people who put YOU in office and who campaigned in '94 to pass DSHEA). The vitamin trade associations WANT Codex, they WANT one set of regulations for the planet so they don't have to manufacture different products for different countries with different labels and the biggest companies in the industry don't CARE what they have to sacrifice to get these regulations put in place because all they care about is getting increased marketshare to please investors, and driving smaller competitors under.
The supplement trade associations have entered into an unholy alliance with the FDA on this issue, and the truth of this is amply brought out in Suzanne Harris,JDs article
WHO SAYS WHATEVER HAPPENS AT CODEX WILL NOT AFFECT US LAW AND WHY DO THEY SAY IT
At the 28th General Session of Codex in Rome on July 4th, US Codex Delegate Dr.Ed Scarbrough wrongly moved to RATIFY a framework for a global trade guideline for vitamins and minerals that is not consistent with US law, while knowing full well that he was signing off on an OPEN ENDED PROCESS being directed by an FDA employee who opposes the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and who is actively working to subvert it.
At the next meeting of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods For Special Dietary Use in Rome Italy in November, they'll be moving to fill in the blanks on allowable POTENCIES of vitamins and minerals, and there is no reason to expect that this will be done in an honest or scientific way given the fact that the person in CHARGE of filling in those blanks is Christine Lewis Taylor, PhD, a registered dietician who is an FDA employee.
Taylor is "on loan" from the FDA to the WHO's International Program on Chemical Safety, where she is running their "Nutrient Risk Assessment Project" http://www.who.int/ipcs/highlights/nutrientraproject/en/
Last May, Taylor sent out a call for applicants to participate in a "Nutrient Risk Assessment Workshop" along with a call for comments on the methodology being employed by the WHO as they move to "fill in the blanks" on allowable vitamin potencies at CODEX. She rejected every single applicant (more than 100) from our side who believe that consumers world wide should enjoy the same level of access afforded to American consumers under DSHEA, and this included the rejection of Dr.Robert Verkerk, Exec Dir, of the UK based Alliance for Natural Health, whose organization submitted these extensive comments which expose the WHO's "risk assessment methodology" as biased, unscientific, and unfair. http://www.alliance-natural-health.org/_docs/ANHWebsiteDoc_121.pdf ANH's comments indicate that WHO is only looking at alleged "Risks" of dietary supplements, while totally IGNORING their BENEFITS. They indicate that WHO has been examining animal data, drawing flawed conclusions from it, while far more ACCURATE human data exists. Morever, they indicate that WHO has been taking a highly biased and SELECTIVE view of the medical literature clearly intended to skew their results to favor pharma interests who don't WANT consumers having access to vitamins and minerals within the optimal therapeutic range because they have a "business with disease" and don't benefit when we remain healthy.
Your argument is echoing things you're being told by the US Trade Representatives Office which has issued a policy directive on the issue of CAFTA and Dietary Supplements. This Policy Directive has been totally discredited by the Coalition for Health Freedom in a rebuttal that you can read here: http://www.coalitionforhealthfreedom.org/issues.html
Congressman Ron Paul and many others on The Liberty Committee who have thoroughly reviewed this information and all the rest of what we're saying completely share our concerns and have generated a "Dear Colleague" letter which reflects them. We urge you to strongly reconsider your position on CAFTA accordingly, and to contact Kent Snyder of The Liberty Committee via http://www.thelibertycommittee.org so that you may sign this "Dear Colleague" letter and assist Congressman Paul and others who support his position against CAFTA when this matter comes up for debate on the House Floor.
When it comes to CAFTA/CODEX, your assurances seem very weak to us. It is evident from their actions that the FDA is setting us up for the harmonization of our dietary supplement laws to grossly restrictive international standards which they are working very hard to create in total defiance of existing US law.
If you do not want your name added to the BLACK LIST of congressmen who vote for CAFTA which will be maintained on over 25 health freedom websites including that of the Coalition for Health Freedom http://www.coalitionforhealthfreedom.org you will strongly reconsider your stance on this matter. Please keep in mind that in 1994, vitamin consumers generated more mail to Congress during the campaign to pass DSHEA than were generated over ANY issue in the HISTORY of Congress. Our Coalition has a Speakers Bureau and we do numerous radio shows on an ongoing basis. This issue will NEVER go away.
For Health Freedom,
John C. Hammell, President, Legislative Advocate
International Advocates for Health Freedom
Consultants to The Life Extension Foundation
556 Boundary Bay Rd.
Point Roberts, WA 98281 USA
http://www.iahf.com main site
http://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?jham Newsletter Archive Site
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http://www.coalitionforhealthfreedom.org Coalition Site
For Health Freedom,
John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
556 Boundary Bay Road
Point Roberts, WA 98281-8702 USA