Subject: Open Letter to Ralph Nader: You Want My Vote for President? Help Needed on Codex Vitamin Issue Sidney Wolfe is Blocking Global Trade from Defending American Vitamin Laws Against Pharmaceutically Driven WTO Effort to Make an End Run Around Them
From: John Hammell
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 18:10:26 -0500

IAHF LIST: I am sending this letter to Ralph Nader, Green Party Presidential Nominee, Dion Casey of Global Trade Watch and to the Green Party National Committee members as listed at (all email addresses in the cc line of this mssg except for Casey's. It is essential that you post this on your websites and forward it widely.

If Ralph Nader opposes American dietary supplement consumers (as well as dietary supplement consumers all over the world), as Dr.Sidney Wolfe at Public Citizen (Nader's organization) currently is by blocking Global Trade Watch from helping us in getting a Congressional Oversight Hearing on the Codex vitamin issue, he is going to ENRAGE a lot of people and lose potential votes. It is my hope that both he and the Green Party will carefully examine the truth of what I'm saying here, and that you will join me in communicating this message. All the email addresses in the CC line are of the Green Party National Committee except for Dion Casey's from Global Trade Watch.

To: Ralph Nader, American Presidential Nominee, Green Party The Center for Study of Responsive Law

John C. Hammell, President February 21, 2000 Presidents Day International Advocates for Health Freedom POB 625 Floyd, Virginia, 24091 800-333-2553,,

Re: Please Help With the Codex Vitamin Issue

Dear Mr.Nader,

I read the news story ( that you will be accepting the Green Parties nomination for President today at a press conference in Washington.

The only way I would vote for you would be if you and the Global Trade Watch division of Public Citizen would reverse their current position against us and would START helping consumers of dietary supplements to get a congressional oversight hearing before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee regarding an illegal action taken by Dr.Beth Yetley of the FDA at a meeting of the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission's Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Use. Dion Casey at Global Trade Watch has been thoroughly informed of this issue, but he informed me that they couldn't help vitamin consumers due to Dr.Sidney Wolfe's opposition to America's democratically enacted dietary supplement laws.

Currently, Dr.Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen is allowing his extreme and unjustified bias against the use of dietary supplements to cause him to take a stand directly AGAINST the democratically enacted Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which he personally would like repealed, and to favor the multinational pharmaceutical companies efforts via the Codex Alimentarius Commission to make an end run around this law.

This is outrageous, goes directly against the positions of Global Trade Watch, and frankly Mr.Nader, I and a lot of other people won't vote for you unless you get Dr.Wolfe in line with regards to this because he represents you, and right now, his actions contradict everything you and Global Trade Watch purport to stand for. Since Wolfe works for you, unless you get him in line on this you will be regarded indirectly as a massive hypocrite by millions of American vitamin and herb consumers who deplore his despicable actions which diametrically oppose the will of the people.

As an unelected bureaucrat, Dr.Yetley of the FDA can't justifiably represent you, me, or anyone else in America, and yet--- she is, and I have proof that she has ignored the will of the people and the will of Congress in Berlin in September of '98 at the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use, because I saw her, I was there on the American delegation. The Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization is being empowered as a result to force changes to democratically enacted American vitamin laws in the not too distant future as a result unless enough of us fight back now to expose whats happening.

I can show you a letter signed by 5 members of congress, including people from both sides of the eisle, and Congressman Burton, Chair of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee telling Yetley not to do what she went ahead and did anyway in September '98 in Berlin Germany at a meeting of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use.

I approached the Global Trade Watch division of Public Citizen regarding my concerns, as the Codex vitamin issue represents a perfect example of the dangers of Globalization that they're trying to alert the public too, but they refuse to help us with this issue due to Dr.Sidney Wolfe's anti vitamin positions, and this is so wrong, and so hypocritical, that unless you honestly examine the truth of what I'm telling you, I won't vote for you when I'd otherwise like to, and neither will any other vitamin consumer on my extensive email distribution list. Due to how I am being ignored by Global Trade Watch as a result of Sidney Wolfe's hypocritical and immoral opposition to American dietary supplement laws, I am appealing directly to you for help in this matter.

In a nutshell, here is the issue:

In 1994 the American people flooded Congress with the largest volume of mail they'd received on any issue including the Vietnam war to force passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 to stop the FDA from banning consumer access to safe dietary supplements and to health information about them.

Passage of this legislation threatens the interests of the multinational pharmaceutical industry, because its not in their best interests for consumers to be healthy and to not need or use their drugs. Its not in their best interests when natural, unpatentable subtances cut into the sale of their drugs.

Currently they are attempting to make an end run around any law, anywhere in the world that goes against their profits. Global Trade Watch has identified numerous examples in which national laws world wide have been forced into so called "harmony" with corrupt international standards that go against the public health, the environment, human rights and labor rights. For this reason we had 70,000 protestors in Seattle protesting the WTO and I was one of them.

There is a very dangerous anti vitamin proposal on the table at Codex which would ban consumer access to high potency vitamins and minerals except by prescription- something which is wholely unecessary from a public health standpoint and which would needlessly restrict consumer access to the vitamins of their choice.

Under current US law it is illegal for Dr.Yetley of the FDA to take any action at the Codex meeting that threatens to harmonize US dietary supplement laws to the emerging Codex vitamin standard, which threatens to be highly restrictive.

What restricts Yetley is the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997

In section SEC 410 MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENTS AND GLOBAL HARMONIZATION on p.23, lines 18-19, dietary supplements were specifically EXEMPTED from the harmonization language of the bill which effects the whole rest of the food, drug and cosmetic act as delineated in paragraphs 1-4 on p.23:

(See complete explanation of this amendment at

I am aware of this amendment to the FDA Modernization Act only because I spearheaded the drive to GET the amendment, which we only got at the last possible minute, when the legislation went into a conference committee, by flooding the Senate Labor Committee with enough faxes to make their fax machine run out of paper and ink, and by flooding congress with last minute calls and email.

This amendment makes it illegal for Dr.Yetley of the FDA to take any action before the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission's Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use which threatens to harmonize US law to an emerging Codex standard for vitamins, yet this is exactly what she is doing over the direct written objection of Congressmen Burton, De Fazio, Stump, Cook, and Paul. I have the letters to prove it, plus I nailed Yetley on videotape as she totally ignores their objection to the draft US comments on the Codex vitamin issue. Click on the second film segment listed.

A complete discussion of this situation can be found at

What is happening now via the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission, is that a classic effort is being made by an unelected bureaucrat, Dr.Beth Yetley, to violate US law in order to assist the multinational pharmaceutical industry in their effort to make an end run around American dietary supplement laws as they seek to use the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO to force the USA to harmonize its vitamin laws to a rapidly emerging Codex standard for vitamins.

The FDA's comments submitted to the CCNFSDU on agenda item #5, (vitamins and minerals) state as follows:

"The United States remains opposed to the continued consideration of the Proposed Draft Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. Public health needs and safety concerns as the related to the use of vitamin and mineral supplements vary from country to country, depending on each country's legal and regulatory framework, dietary patterns, the nature of their public health concerns, and national cultural beliefs as to the role of supplements in diet and health. We believe that guidelines for vitamin and mineral dietary supplements are best addressed by national laws and regulations."

This part of the US comments is acceptable. It does nothing to threaten harmonization to Codex standards, or to any more restrictive regulations anywhere in the world. It is consistent with the will of Congress and with the will of the American people as expressed via the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, and through P.L. 105-115, which specifically exempts dietary supplements from the harmonization language in the FDA Modernization Act of 1997.

The problem with the US comments on agenda item #5 lies with the second paragraph, which reads as follows:

"The United States does, however, support consideration of one element of the proposed guidelines, namely, the consideration of developing recommended upper safe limits of vitamins or minerals in supplements, provided that the recommendations are based on scientifically sound risk assessment criteria. To this end, the United States has submitted to the committee for consideration and discussion, the document "A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients."


This document did not undergo any public comments period, and as a member of the US delegation, I wouldn't have been sent a copy of it at all if I hadn't specifically asked for one at the last minute after seeing reference to it in the US draft comments which indicated that it would be put on the table at the Codex meeting. I didn't receive it until shortly before the meeting in Berlin, or I would have had even MORE members of Congress send letters to the FDA opposing it. It is outrageous that members of the US delegation are kept in the dark this way.I should have been sent a copy of this paper at least a month in advance of the meeting so as to have sufficient time to review it and to send it out to more people in order to encourage a dialogue regarding it with Dr.Yetley. It is painfully obvious that the FDA has an agenda here, and seeks to avoid scrutiny.

The paper was funded by US and Canadian government funds, as well as through donations from pharmaceutical companies that would like high potency vitamins regulated as prescription "drugs". You can see the paper at

Of the companies that helped fund the drafting of this paper, 3 were criminally charged and heavily fined by the US Dept of Justice for engaging in illegal price fixing in the sale of vitamin raw materials. They were: Hoffman La Roche, Takeda, and Daiichi Fine Chemical. These companies ripped off consumers and vitamin manufacturers for years before they were caught and fined. (Hoffman La Roche was fined a record $500 million, and BASF was fined $250 Million. See the press releases of the US Dept. of Justice at "F.Hoffman-La Roche and BASF Agree to Pay Record Criminal Fines for Participating in International Vitamin Cartel"

and at "Three Japanese Companies Agree to Plead Guilty, Pay Criminal Fines For Participating in International Vitamin Cartel"

The paper is not scientific, or objective, and was generated by the pharmaceutically dominated National Academy of Sciences which is a non profit organization and not part of the US government. As such it isn't subject to the Freedom of Information Act even though federal funds were used to fund this paper, so I can't get the raw data behind the paper, or the CVs of its authors which would unequivocally show a conflict of interest.

I am sure of this because on my own I finagled the CV of one of the authors, Steven Zeisel, PhD (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) which proved that the year before the paper was written he had over $1.5 million in pharmaceutical research grants proving a conflict of interest. I'm sure that if the CVs of all of the authors of the paper could be seen it would indicate a similar conflict of interest, but we can't use FOIA to get them.

Brian Leibovitz, PhD, Rick Malter, PhD, and Bonnie Camo, MD are just three advocates of the use of dietary supplements who deplore the NAS paper and have pronounced it "pseudoscience driven by vested interests with a clear agenda to oppose the consumer use of vitamins and minerals in high potencies except if controlled by prescription.

The problem is that the paper threatens to be regarded as the "Gold Standard" for vitamin safety, and the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO refuses to allow individual testimony, so Leibovitz, et all would never be allowed to appear before them in opposition to its conclusions, nor would anyone from any NGO organization as the DSB only allows testimony from unelected bureaucrats such as Dr.Yetley of the FDA.

The only basis on which the USA can legally have a higher standard than a codex standard is on a basis of safety. If we were ALLOWED under GATT to truly use science to prove our case, and if the DSB operated under the American courts rules of evidence, we'd have no problem, but unfortunately, this isn't the case.

The outrageous thing about all of this is that Congressman Burton initially promised an oversight hearing to address this matter until the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the National Nutritional Foods Assn told him a hearing on the Codex vitamin issue "isn't necessary."

These vitamin trade associations are being controlled from the top-down by pharmaceutical interests as can easily be seen by looking at CRN's membership at There you will find several large multinational pharmaceutical companies listed including the ones that helped fund the NAS paper which were busted by the US Dept. of Justice.

Would those companies benefit if they could get high potency vitamins regulated as "drugs"? What do you think? They could make more money, from less product and downsize at the same time. Investors would love it, plus it would decrease the consumer availability of vitamins and minerals so people wouldn't be as healthy, making them more likely to land in the hospital where they could be put on all sorts of pharmaceutical drugs that they wouldn't otherwise need.

Please Mr. Nader: if you want vitamin consumers to trust you, you'd better take a very close look at this and you'd better have a talk with Dr.Wolfe, because he is blocking Global Trade Watch from taking up an issue that they could use successfully to get millions of vitamin consuming Americans aware of the many dangers of Globalization, and you could help us get a badly needed Congressional Oversight Hearing on this all important issue which effects so many Americans. Additional information about this issue can be found at or by calling me to discuss it.

As a consumer of dietary supplements with a genetic need for the vitamins I take,and as the President of IAHF, I am enraged by Sidney Wolfe's action on this issue and urge you to either fire him or get him to stop opposing the grass roots efforts of dietary supplement consumers all over the world to achieve justice on this issue. I would be happy to come to Washington to discuss this with you in person, because on the whole, I think you're doing a good job. I was in Seattle and appreciate your being there too, but you won't get my vote unless you hear me on this.

For Health Freedom, John C. Hammell, President International Advocates for Health Freedom

Next Codex Mtgs Re Vitamin Issue
CCNFSDU in Berlin
June 19- June 23, 2000
47th Session of Codex Executive
June 28-June 30, 2000 in Geneva

What to Do:
Contact Your Countries Delegate to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use
(Beth Yetley in USA, Margaret Cheney in Canada)
Tell Them To Oppose the Draft Guidelines for Vitamins and Minerals & That the Paper Titled "A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Levels for Nutrients" Is Unscientific, Biased Against Vitamin Use, Was Paid for by Pharmaceutical Interests, Is Anti Consumer, And a Complete Expose Is Available at
International Advocates for Health Freedom is a true grass roots, decentralized movement of vitamin consumers world wide opposed to the pharmaceutically rigged Codex Shell Game, to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and to all Statist Elements of Coersion, Wherever they may be found, anywhere in the world. As Free people, we are Sovereign over our own BODIES, With a God Given Unalienable Right to Ingest Any Substance of Our Choosing, (Especially Vitamins and Minerals) Into OUR BODIES As We See Fit.

We hereby put all unelected CODEX bureaucrats,UN and WTO Supporters World Wide,Employees of the FDA, HPB, MCA, MCC and similar drug cartel stooges on NOTICE that We Believe Strongly in the American Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms As Well as in the Right to Freedom of Speech & In All Unalienable God Given Rights, Both Numerated and Unenumerated, As Set Forth in the 9th Amendment to the United States Constitutition.

Learn the TRUTH about the Battle in Seattle:

International Advocates for Health Freedom, email:
Tel. Within N.America 800-333-2553, Overseas 540-745-6534
Fax: 540-745-6535
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IAHF POB 625 Floyd, VA 24091 USA