To: IAHF List
Subject: CFH Spin on Codex Vitamin Issue Addressed Point by Point
From: "International Advocates for Health Freedom" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 18:34:43 -0500
IAHF List: This is downloadable off Gary Null's website and should be circulated through health food stores nationwide, along with the Codex Backgrounder and Petition calling for proper oversight which can also be signed on line. The article below exposes spin control that has been used to keep health food stores and small manufacturers in the dark on this issue so that they haven't been taking any action to fight back. The spin exposed below is attributable to the conflict of interest situation inherent in Citizens for Health's Treasurer being an employee of Pfizer. This same individual chairs NNFA's International Committee, and determined their pro FDA, pro pharmaceutical position on Codex. If you are a member of CFH, you should demand [in light of factual material below] that their current spin piece on the Codex vitamin issue be removed from their website and that they eliminate anyone from their Board representing pharmaceutical interests.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU EDUCATE YOUR LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE WITH THIS INFORMATION, BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN KEPT IN THE DARK In addition to showing this to your health food store, please download all campaign materials on this issue from http://www.garynull.com/issues/Codex/AboutCodex.htm for dissemination through all health food stores within a 50 mile radius of your home. An Oversight Hearing has been scheduled for February 28 on this issue, and unless we reach enough people with the truth in advance, the deck could be stacked against us in the hearing, which is only occurring at ALL due to 5 years of hard work by IAHF to keep this issue alive.
In the following document, John Hammell of the International Association for Health Freedom (IAHF) discusses point-by-point his reasons for disagreeing with "Citizens for Health" (CFH) on the Codex Vitamin Issue. He says that while 95% of what CFH is doing may be good, he finds their position on Codex troubling. His argument for not relying on the US Codex delegation to handle the situation and his explanation of why we need a grass roots movement to protect our domestic laws from international intrusion are compelling.
CFH Website: "FACT: There has been some confusion between Codex Commission activities, GATT and international regulatory harmonization efforts. The three issues are connected but not synonymous.
John Hammell: Codex activities, Gatt and international regulatory harmonization efforts are so intertwined that, in fact, they ARE virtually synonymous.
CFH Website: "The proposed Codex guidelines would be implemented only if 1) they are adopted by the full Codex Commission as presently drafted and 2) they are subsequently adopted by individual countries that have ratified GATT. GATT specifically provides that while ratifying countries must consider international health-related standards such as a final Codex guideline in connection with their own health-related laws and regulations, no ratifying country is required to adopt such a standard."
John Hammell: The US has already signed Mutual Recognition Agreements as part of GATT and NAFTA that prevent a country from refusing to harmonize its domestic laws to an international standard, except on the basis of safety. Now government agencies are pushing to set "upper levels" on supplements. If they prevail, America will forfeit its right to opt out on the basis of safety because our own laws will affirm our acceptance of "safe" limits. The pattern is clear.
Furthermore, since the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body does not allow individual testimony, our government representatives, whom the pharmaceutical interests are working hard to influence, would plead our case. This could effectively silence those of us who claim our right to dietary supplements.
In addition, the Federal Statute which protects our domestic laws from harmonization may be a paper tiger. Despite federal statutes, Congress has already capitulated to harmonization when the World Trade Organizations Dispute Settlement Body threatened us with trade sanctions. This is why Congressman Ron Paul introduced the American Sovereignty Restoration Act to pull us out of the WTO, why 18 cosponsors backed it last congress and why it hopefully will gain momentum as people learn the truth. On the other hand, CFH and its multinational corporate member companies have not backed Paul's bill.
CFH Website: "This principle is reflected in the U.S. statute ratifying GATT, which explicitly provides that no provision of GATT is effective in this country if it is inconsistent with Federal law. Thus, any provision of Codex dietary supplement guidelines (if such guidelines are eventually adopted in any form), which conflicts with any provision of DSHEA, is null and void in the U.S. The FDA, which is required by Federal law to implement DSHEA, may not incorporate any part of any final Codex dietary supplement guideline in a regulation or policy, if to do so would contravene DSHEA."
John Hammell: Attorney Milton Bass examined this Federal Statute and did not agree with this assessment. He said that the word "inconsistent" is not defined, and the statute opens a Pandora's box as to how it would be interpreted. What if something isn't IN our law? Would it then be inconsistent? No. You can't say it would be inconsistent if its not in our law.
True, Codex cannot DIRECTLY impose a finalized standard on the USA because harmonization works indirectly. The US could refuse harmonization & mount a challenge before the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body, but then we would be hit with trade sanctions. In THEORY, Congress could accept the sanctions and REFUSE to harmonize, but the sanctions can be imposed across a broad spectrum of industries unrelated to supplements, so the reality is that no country can afford to accept this penalty. This threat would put IMMENSE lobbying pressures on Congress to change our laws. These lobbying pressures are comparable to the huge pressures that forced NAFTA and GATT through to start with.
Have you noticed the current flurry of "news" articles promoting "Upper Limits" on supplements, even though the concept is scientifically questionable? The Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) & TACD are exerting pressure for harmonization to the rapidly emerging European Union regulations. The TABD's dietary supplement working group is comprised solely of multinational pharmaceutical interests who could ultimately monopolize the market. Review the press release in the archives section of CRN's website under news releases re the TABD and note that the TACD is comprised of groups like Public Citizen and CSPI, that have publicly stated their intention to repeal DSHEA. [See http://www.crnusa.org/shellnr112000.html, http://www.tabd.org/ and http://www.tacd.org/ ]
CFH Website: "COMMENT: The implications of harmonization over the long haul under treaties like GATT and NAFTA are not completely understood. What is clear is that at this point harmonization is each country's choice, and the United States cannot be forced to conform to an international standard that directly conflicts with existing U.S. law (e.g. DSHEA) without the consent of Congress."
John Hammell: The implications of harmonization are becoming painfully clear to any concerned citizens who educate themselves on this issue. Review what happened in Seattle at www.louisbeam.com/seattle.htm and the "US Laws Not Safe Section" at http://www.iahf.com/ . See also www.tradewatch.org and get the book "Who's Trade Organization?" by Ralph Nader.
It is clear that we need a groundswell of support for Congressman Ron Paul's American Sovereignty Restoration Act which would protect our domestic laws by pulling us out of the World Health Organization.
CFH Website: "4. Fiction: Examples of individual nations developing regulations, and responding to specific product concerns are being called "Codex harmonization" efforts (e.g. Norway's restricted regulations on supplements, U.K.'s attempted restrictions on vitamin B6 potency, U.S. proposed restrictions on Ma Huang potency, and Canada's recent actions to increase regulation of herbal products)."
John Hammell: This is NOT "fiction" and it IS Codex harmonization in that it is movement in the direction orchestrated by pharmaceutical interests. In fact, IAHF and allied groups have reason to believe that a UN body called ICDRA, the International Council of Drug Regulating Authorities, coordinates the actions of the world's FDA's.
CFH Website: "FACT: The scope of the Codex's work addresses only essential nutrients and does not involve any discussion of herbs or a wide range of dietary supplements."
John Hammell: This statement is misleading. At a Codex meeting in Bonn in '96, Dr.Yetley of OUR FDA illegally seconded a Canadian motion to shift all deliberations on herbs completely OUT of Codex, where herbs are at least considered foods (consistent with US law), over to a secret panel at WHO, which treats herbs as DRUGS (inconsistent with US law). Now we have lost all access to any deliberations made at WHO, in contrast to Codex where we had SOME access. In fact, Codex typically calls substances that don't have RDA's "drugs" and shifts them to other bodies that may ultimately determine that you will need a prescription to obtain them. Look closely at what is happening with the EU Vitamin Directive.
CFH Website: "Citizens remains seriously concerned about specific incidents, both in the U.S. and abroad, that restrict consumer access to dietary supplements (eg: the UK B6 issue and the U.S. ma-haung issue). However, there is no evidence that these nations' internal actions are related in any way to efforts to force international harmonization or to influence developing Codex guidelines, especially when the examples involved fall outside the purview of issues under Codex's consideration."
John Hammell: The first sentence makes sense, but it is followed by a misleading statement. IAHF is aware of numerous visitations between countries by regulators to discuss vitamin regulations. In fact, ICDRA at the UN helps to coordinate the actions of the FDA and its sister regulatory bodies world wide. This also ignores the pressures of the TABD and TACD to harmonize the laws. See "U.S. and European Leaders Agree on Principles to Harmonize Dietary Supplement Regulations" at http://www.crnusa.org/shellnr112000.html .
CFH Website: "It is important to remember that the proposed Codex guidelines are being hotly contested, are in the process of change and have yet to be finalized."
John Hammell: While it is true that the guidelines are not finalized, it is also true that we are being set up for harmonization. So why is CFH anesthetizing people on this issue by not promoting the Anti- EU Vitamin Directive Petition (http://www.laleva.org/) and not exposing the true situation? Their statement (above) puts people to sleep with the illusion that this is a non-issue, and that is NOT in our best interests.
CFH Website: "COMMENT: The right of consumers to freely access dietary supplements must be balanced against issues of safety and efficacy. While Citizens For Health sees no proof of a worldwide "conspiracy" to force harmonization, we do recognize that some government agencies continue to look for reasons to restrict access to dietary supplements, and this is our primary concern.
John Hammell: Here CFH is agreeing with those who want to use issues of safety and efficacy to limit our access. So, how can they claim to represent "citizens" while promoting the position of the multinational corporate interests who are trying to restrict our rights by raising regulatory hurdles?
CFH Website: How to take effective action: When communicating with government officials and agencies about Codex, it is important to know the facts. This educational piece gives you a strong basis with which to communicate your concerns to the U.S. Codex office, President Bush, legislators, and the FDA.
John Hammell: "It IS important to know the facts." It is equally as important not to be misled when people do not present all of the facts.
CFH Website: How to take effective Action Items: 1. Become a member of Citizens For Health, and encourage others to do the same! That way you can stay abreast of new developments and support our work on this important issue."
John Hammell: Thinking people are seeking more accurate information about "new developments" than what Citizens for Health has provided so far.
CFH Website: "2. Distribute this informational piece to friends, family, co-workers, community organizations, religious groups, health food store owners, etc."
John Hammell: Considering the above, this is not a good course of action.
CFH Website: "3. Write/Call/Fax/Email a brief letter to: the FDA, the US Codex Office within the USDA, President Clinton, your US Senators and Congressmen. Let them know that you "want them to support the efforts of the U.S. Codex delegation, through the FDA and the USDA to work for the protection of DSHEA and that you oppose the proposed Codex guidelines to restrict potency of and health claims on essential nutrients."
John Hammell: Since the actions of the US Codex delegation may set us up to lose in a trade dispute, why does CFH actively support their efforts and why are they doing nothing to expose the problem?
CFH Website: "4. If you are a business person dealing with dietary supplements, contact Citizens so that we can connect you with the appropriate trade association and international network for you to help in this effort."
John Hammell: While 95% of what CFH is doing may be good, their stance on this issue is certainly troubling. So beware. Judging from the positions expressed on their website, the CFH may refer you to a trade association which is pharmaceutically dominated or to a group which may, by their actions or inaction, be setting us up for harmonization world wide.
John Hammell is associated with grass roots health freedom organizations all over the world. He urges people of good conscience to review the facts and inform others of the truth. Listen to the audio archives of Gary Null radio broadcasts with Hammell and other true grass roots health freedom fighters from all over the world in the media section at http://www.iahf.com The truth is finally coming out, and more people must examine the facts of this issue.
For more information or to give a much-needed donation, contact:
PO Box 625
Floyd VA 24091 USA
http://www.iahf.com , 800-333-2553