To: IAHF List
Subject: Codex -- much ado about nothing? Response to a Critics Questions
From: "International Advocates for Health Freedom" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 20:05:03 -0500
IAHF List: I worked hard to respond carefully to this critics questions. If you read this, you will have a very thorough grasp of how we're being set up. I'd like to thank "Eve Smith" for taking the time to write these questions which have served a useful purpose.
At 02:56 PM 2/2/01 -0600, you wrote:
For weeks now I have been reading your emails about Codex, and they are not at all persuasive. They have been excruciatingly repetitive and they consist largely of ranting and raving. When do you plan to get around to filling in the gaps, showing us the facts and the law, tightening the connections, making all the links in the argument explicit, so that we can judge for ourselves? What you have been doing instead is simply dreaming up some interpretation of things, often very tenuous, and then treating your interpretation as if it were incontestable fact that only needs to be screamed and spread, not argued.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to sharpen my argument.A great deal of specific information is provided below which tightens the connections.
For example, you write constantly about having a video of Yetley "violating the law." That's nonsense: There is no such thing as a picture of anyone "violating the law"; all any video shows is physical conduct; to make that out as illegal you need to lay out the law for us. As near as I can make out, you seem to think it's illegal to do something that five Congressmen in a letter said not to. That's ridiculous. That's 1% of Congress, and actually even a letter from a majority of each house would not be law, only politically impressive. And if you want us to believe Yetley was violating the real law, the statute you helped draft, hadn't you better show us the actual statutory language, so we can see? Incidentally, that amendment was, I gather, only a few lines long, not some huge drafting project in which anyone could be expected to make mistakes, and you had months or years to do it in, and you knew all along that the FDA was a rogue agency that would try to weasel out of it, not interpret it in good faith.
Go to http://iahf.com/s830-nov.txt to see the precise language of my amendment. The will of Congress was that FDA not take any action that threatens to harmonize our laws to a more restrictive international standard. This was clearly expressed by Senator Hatch in a statement in the Congressional Record after the amendment was made, and by Congressman Ron Paul in a "Dear Colleague" letter to urge Congress to amend FDAMA to protect consumer access to dietary supplements.
The language of FDAMA (FDA Modernization Act) as amended through my efforts in '97 has been on the IAHF website since that time. Far from having "months or years" to try to get this amendment, we were forced to do our best to get the bill amended at the last possible minute when it was in a conference committee after first noticing the problem with the language during August when most people were on vacation, making it very hard to sound an alarm. Given that the dangerous language was inside a telephone book thick piece of legislation, we were lucky to find it at all, and frankly, you should be more appreciative of the fact that we were there for you.
If I shoot a video tape of a rapist raping someone, or a killer plunging a knife into someone's neck, thats not a picture of someone breaking the law? The will of the people and the will of Congress are the law. I shot video footage of Dr.Yetley of FDA who's actions are threatening the lives of people all over the world who have a medical need for the vitamins they take including myself. This video footage is at http://www.iahf.com in the Media section.
Due to my efforts to get in Yetley's face this way, and due to my efforts to get video footage inside the Codex meeting (til the German Chair of the meeting forced me to stop filming) I was not allowed back on the delegation for the CCNFSDU meeting last June as my efforts to expose the fraudulence of these proceedings has been hindering the pharmaceutical agenda. (The footage shot inside the Codex meeting and Grossklauss forcing me to stop taping can be found in the Media section of http://www.iahf.com and it illustrates the non transparency of these supposedly honest, open proceedings.)
In my Video footage you can seeYetley ignore a letter from the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee (gif files in the letters from congress section at http://www.iahf.com ) not to put an unscientific, pharmaceutically funded paper on the table at Codex because her action is setting us up for the forced harmonization of our laws to a grossly restrictive international standard. Her action directly contradicts US law, but FDA is claiming the statutory language does not expressly forbid them from taking the action they took, they are claiming the language in paragraph (c)(5) of section 803 merely negates the requirement to participate in harmonization activities regarding dietary supplements, that it doesn't expressly forbid them to engage in harmonization activities. FDA is also claiming statutory authority for engaging in harmonization actions from statutes that predated FDAMA. I know this is the artful dodge they are taking due to a letter I received from L.Robert Lake, Director of the FDA Office of Regulations and Policy, but I do not accept for one second what he is saying.
Thus FDA is attempting once again to evade the law and the express will of Congress and the will of the people who made phones ring off the hook at the Senate Labor Committee in 1997 demanding that their rights be protected. We need Congressional oversight badly, they're giving us a hearing, but will it be properly conducted? The only way it might be properly conducted is if enough people call Congress to demand proper oversight on this issue and sign our two petitions and if Burton listens to the will of the people. The NAS paper never underwent any public comments period, and was never furnished to me as a member of the delegation in advance of the meeting in any sort of timely fashion because an effort was being made to be evasive. Upon noticing that it had been mentioned in the US draft comments, but that I hadn't been sent a copy I was forced to demand a copy be sent to me just before the meeting, and FDA pretended to not know where it could be downloaded.
By the time I received a copy of the paper, there was hardly any time to read it or circulate it to more people for their expert opinion of it, much less to complain about it to Congress prior to the meeting. The FDA often does things like this. I ran the paper past several alternative physicians who accurately pronounced it pseudoscience. Please read it at http://www.iahf.com along with the rebuttals to it.
You criticize me down for the small number of Congressmen who wrote to the FDA to tell them not to put the paper on the table, but you give no consideration to the time constraint that I faced. Its not the number of Congressmen who told FDA not to do what they went ahead and did anyway thats significant here. What is significant is that the FDA ignored the will of Congress as clearly expressed through an amendment to the FDA Modernization Act which forbade them to take the action that they took. Even if NO congressman had issued a letter telling them not to do what they did, they STILL would have violated the law.
In any case, this was not the first time they violated US law at a Codex meeting. They violated US law previous to this in '96 in Bonn when Yetley illegally seconded a Canadian motion to shift herbs completely out of Codex and over to a "special panel at WHO". This was a violation of US law because at Codex substances are at least regulated as foods, which in the case of herbs is consistent with DSHEA. The WHO regards all dietary supplements to be "drugs". For Yetley to second that Canadian motion was totally inconsistent with US law, and it constituted an effort to undermine it.
The statute that I helped draft was amended at the last possible minute, in a conference committee in 1997, which the House and Senate language were cojoined into one bill which was sent to the President for his signature. The FDA Modernization Act of 1997 was a voluminous bill. I didn't notice the dangerous language until sometime in August, and it was only by chance that I spotted it. It is never easy to slog through bill language as voluminous as the Manhatten telephone directory where anything dangerous can be hidden, but when I stumbled upon the threatening language, I immediately sprang into motion to address the threat, while being opposed by pharmaceutical interests who did not want me to succeed in getting it amended.
The fact is that we amended the bill language to exclude dietary supplements from the harmonization language. FDA is violating the will of the people who demanded that FDAMA be amended, and they're violating the will of Congress as clearly expressed through the effort to amend the bill. The FDA routinely ignores the law. They are currently ignoring the Judges decision in Pearson v. Schalala. Are you also emailing Jonathan Emord to run him down too? To be consistent with your poor attitude, you might as well go on and attack him too. Go ahead, his email address is email@example.com
So if you couldn't draft it to say, unmistakably, what you intended it to mean, that doesn't say much for your legal skills, does it? You're not a lawyer to begin with, are you? So why expect us to just take your word for any complicated legal conclusion?
I have never claimed to be a lawyer, but I do work with lawyers, and you don't have to be a lawyer to understand what is going on or to read the law and understand it. I have been a lobbyist actively defending the dietary supplement industry since 1989. I worked with Suzanne Harris, JD when we got the language of FDAMA amended through our joint effort in '97. A good article by Harris explaining the situation faced by us in '97 can be found at http://iahf.com/s830expl.html
What makes you think that a person trying to get language inserted into a bill to change it would be politically able to get the exact language that they want into it given the pharmaceutical effort to railroad us and given the kind of opposition our effort faced from such pharmaceutical shills as Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman Waxman?
While I was making the effort in '97 to amend the FDA Modernization Act an effort was made by pharmaceutical interests to defame me. A Website that is no longer up was built in cyberspace for that purpose. It is no longer up, but it was called "codexfacts.com", and there was nothing "factual" about it. Faxes were sent to the Hill for the purpose of diametrically opposing everything I was trying to do. This action was occurring through the EAPC and other pharmaceutical interests which were, and still are, trying to dominate the global market in natural products and to force the world to harmonize its dietary supplement regulations to the Codex standard currently under development. There is a letter on my website from the German embassy to the FDA written on behalf of the EAPC to the FDA wanting them to regulate herbs as "drugs"..... (just like in Germany.)
Which brings me to the main point. You seem to me to be ignoring the difference between harmonization "upward" and "downward." I'm no trade expert, but as I understand it, the goal of pretty much all the trade law you're talking about -- the GATT, the WTO, harmonization, the whole tradition -- is to free international trade by disallowing barriers to trade. The target is protectionism. If a nation has *stricter* regulations than the internationally recognized standard, that may be a subterfuge to keep out foreign goods, so it raises the red flag and must be justified.
My recommendation to you is that you attend The International Forum on Globalization's http://www.ifg.org/ February 24-25, 2001 next Teach-in: "Globalization and Technology" in New York City and study their site in order to learn the truth about the damaging impact of globalization on local economies. Far from "lifting all boats" as advertised, globalization has only been making the multinational corporations richer at the expense of the people of the world.
You are correct- I AM ignoring all discussion of "upward" and "downward" harmonization, because you have bought into semantics, you have bought into the rhetoric that was used in the disgusting snow job by which Congress was conned into voting for these trade agreements without reading any of the fine print. My guess is that at the time NAFTA and GATT were being debated that you didn't read the fine print either, but I did, I read the SPS and TBT agreements, both of which effect dietary supplements. Read http://www.ncfap.org/foodsafe.htm also http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/sps/ for information on the SPS agreement which pertains to food safety.
The SPS Agreement defines the ALP (Acceptable Level of Protection) as "the level of protection deemed appropriate by the member establishing a sanitary or phytosanitary measure to protect human, animal, or plant life or health." A note is included indicating that "many members otherwise refer to this concept as the acceptable level of risk." This of course become problematic when "risk" factors pertaining to safe dietary supplements are being defined by pharmaceutical interests who don't like dietary supplements interfering with the sale of their patented pharmaceutical drugs and who desire to take over the dietary supplement industry.
The TBT agreement, on the other hand pertains to technical matters involving product labeling, where they are also up to no good.
The purpose of harmonization is to make the laws the same world wide for the benefit of multinational corporations which have no concern about the public health, public safety, the environment, workers rights, labor rights, or anything else besides maximizing corporate profits. An effort is being made to force us into a totalitarian world government. Read the book "MASS CONTROL- Engineering Human Consciousness" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/1881532208/customer-reviews/ref=pm_dp_ln_b_7/107-8065595-9799760
Harmonization to grossly restrictive standards is readily seen right now in the EU where currently all 15 EU nations have their own regulations for dietary supplements, but an effort is being made to force them all to adhere to one set of regulations that would govern all countries, and it would force all 15 EU nations into a regulatory structure as restrictive against dietary supplements as Germany and France are now. England, Holland and Sweden currently have dietary supplement laws that provide a level of access that is far greater than Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Finland, or Norway where things are far more restricted.
If you talk with vitamin consumers in England, they all wish England weren't in the European Union, because it is painfully clear to them that an effort is being made to seriously restrict their access to dietary supplements. People in many other EU countries are equally concerned, especially Denmark where there is a large health freedom movement that is working very hard to expose the current Codex scam.
Vitamin trade associations world wide are dominated by pharmaceutical interests. These trade associations don't give a damn about consumer access, their only concern is maximizing profits. If dietary supplement laws were the same world wide, they wouldn't have to print different labels or deal with several sets of regulations as one size would fit all. The large pharmaceutical companies that are dominating these trade associations don't give a damn about the public health or about consumer access to vitamins. If high potency vitamins were regulated as prescription drugs, they could make far more money, off less product, they could drive all small competitors off a cliff by requiring a move to full HACCP GMPs, and they could decrease consumer access to dietary supplements so that they wouldn't cut so much into the sale of their MAIN products: pharmaceutical drugs. That is their goal through the EU Vitamin Directive and Codex, to block our access to vitamins and minerals within the therapeutic range.
The permissible justification is safety: A nation is allowed to be stricter than most if it's being rational about it, if the peculiarity is simply a strong taste for safety or an ability to afford it or an evidentiary position more advanced than the old standard. But if a nation has *looser* regulations than the standard, that does not in itself keep out any foreign goods. If the U.S. chooses to say that anyone may sell any dietary supplements they please here, without restriction, how is that a "barrier to trade"? True, the competition of those superior offers may prevent Big Pharma from selling their junk, but what makes you think that's illegal?
If a pharmaceutical company wishes to sell high potency vitamin products here by prescription, our dietary supplement laws would undermine its ability to make the kind of profits that they hope to be able to make. They could then say that our laws pose an unfair trade barrier, and we would be forced to justify our laws on a basis of safety. They would argue that they have evidence (NAS pharmaceutically funded, grossly biased studies) that high potency vitamins aren't safe to take unless prescribed by a doctor.We see this mentality occurring right now in the EU as an effort is being made to force England, Holland and Sweden which have more open access to vitamins to harmonize their laws to Germany which is very restrictive. Health Freedom organizations in the EU are trying to expose the phone safety standards being developed by the EU Commission.
This whole issue revolves around defining SAFETY. Its a matter of how the WTO's dispute settlement process "works". The WTO's DSB is not run like an American court, its a mickey mouse court designed to rubber stamp the multinational corporate agenda. The FDA is illegally attempting to assist pharmaceutical interests in falsely defining vitamin safety. The falsity of the NAS paper "A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Safe Upper Levels for Nutrients" is discussed in the REBUTTAL section of the IAHF website. It is not legal for the FDA to made any attempt to harmonize our dietary supplement laws to a more restrictive international standard, but by assisting pharmaceutical interests to falely define vitamin safety, that is exactly what they are trying to do.
Since the NAS has come out with their unscientific pronouncements about "Safe Upper Levels" for vitamins, the Associated Press has spread this propaganda throughout all the mainstream media outlets, and now such anti dietary supplement organizations as AARP (American Assn of Retired People) are echoing this mindlessness in their newsletters. AARP has the world's largest mail order pharmacy, and they lobbied very hard against passage of DSHEA. AARP attacked vitamin safety in their February newsletter based on the "UL" findings of the NAS.
If Congress does not force FDA to withdraw the NAS paper from the table at codex, FDA will have set us up to lose in a trade dispute. The WTO's dispute settlement body would ask us to justify our dietary supplement laws on a basis of safety, and with NAS's standards as the "gold standard" we would not be able to. The Dispute Settlement Panel is not like an American court. Individuals, NGOs and companies have no standing to appear before it. The only people allowed to appear before it are government reps from WTO member nations, people such as Beth Yetley, so the fix is in.
Additionally, the harmonization process is being fostered by the Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue and the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, two organizations that have no interest or concern about consumers right to access these products, their interest lies only in making money. The pharmaceutical interests in the TABD working group on dietary supplements are all multinational pharmaceutical interests seeking to knock their smaller competition off the cliff and to get high potency vitamins regulated as "drugs". The so called Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue is not comprised of true "consumer groups" at all, and includes 3 organizations that speak out heavily against the use of dietary supplements: Center for Science in the Public Interest, Public Citizen, and BEUC. I have discussed all of this before. The intention of the TABD to harmonize our dietary supplement laws to the EU's was discussed in a press release on the CRN website at http://www.crnusa.org/shellnr112000.html
The treaties are supposed (in theory, at least) to encourage competition, not ban it. The only case that comes to mind where someone can complain of the competition is "unfair" competition, typically where a government is effectively *subsidizing* its industry, and thus discriminating against the foreign complainant. But that's not this case; how can a neutral, nondiscriminatory, laissez faire refusal to regulate be interpreted as "unfair competition"? So I don't see how this country is going to be forced to harmonize to any ban on vitamins. So long as our laws are not *automatically* harmonized, so long as it would take an act of Congress -- as you agree it would --, what is there to worry about? I won't absolutely deny that there could be a problem if the dispute resolution bodies are crooked enough to ignore the intent of the treaties and just do favors for the Bad Guys. But if that is happening, I'd like to hear about some cases. Where's the evidence?
You seem to have been conned by the empty rhetoric that endorsed the passage of the NAFTA and GATT trade agreements. NAFTA and GATT were not "treaties" they were "agreements". The purpose of the "agreements" was to maximize the profits of multinational corporations, with no concern whatsoever given to human rights, the environment, the public health, or much of anything else beyond maximizing corporate profit. If you are a pharmaceutical company wanting to maxamize profits its not in your best interest that the existence of dietary supplements in the marketplace cut into those profits. It is in your best interest to restrict consumer access to those dietary supplements, and also to maximize your profit in the sale of dietary supplements. You can achieve both objectives by banning consumer access to high potency vitamins and other products except by prescription. You can do this by falsely defining vitamin safety. By raising GMP standards to full pharmaceutical GMPs you can knock all your smaller competition off a cliff. This has already happened in many countries around the world including Australia, Norway, Canada, Germany and others. The goal is to do it everywhere else as well.
Despite considerable grass roots opposition, Congress voted in NAFTA and GATT. They did so because if they hadn't they would have lost a lot of PAC money. You can easily see from the Federal Election Commission website the degree to which Congress is dominated by special interests. Check it out at http://www.fec.gov The only member of Congress who refuses to accept any PAC donations is Ron Paul. He is literally the only member with clean hands.
We have a Congress of whores. They didn't read NAFTA or GATT and didn't even know what they were signing off on. If the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body were to rule against our dietary supplement laws saying that they can't be justified on a basis of safety, which is exactly what the FDA is setting them up to do, the DSB, which serves as a rubber stamp for multinational corporate interests and which isn't the least bit interested in the truth, will rule against us and they can impose trade sanctions against broad segments of our economy unless Congress does what they want. No country can withstand the threat of trade sanctions against broad sectors of their economy. The lobbying pressure such a threat would unleash on Congress would be as extensive as that which resulted in the passage of NAFTA and GATT in the first place.
There are many examples of where our sovereignty has been infringed on through this already, and it only stands to get worse. You will find examples not only in the IAHF website under "US Laws not safe" but also on the website of Global Trade Watch at http://www.tradewatch.org/
The Mexican-trucks case is therefore *not* on point. That was about this country's *higher* standards for trucks. And once again you are making loose equivalences and treating them as if they were precise identities. As near as I can make out from what I saw on your site, what was disallowed was prohibiting *Mexican* trucks per se; prohibiting unsafe trucks is still OK. Which is exactly the way we do it between states -- New York can't ban all Texas trucks simply because Texas doesn't have inspections up to NY standards --, and seems perfectly reasonable to me, indeed obviously necessary to prevent the classic sort of protectionist tactics. So the argument has to be that telling the unsafe trucks from the safe is too hard, and so many Mexican trucks are bad that the sensible thing is to just ban them all. But how hard is it to tell a 170-ton truck from an 85-ton truck? a 15-year-old model from an 8-year-old one? Isn't that the sort of thing any state trooper should be able to do at a glance? Aren't there weighing stations all over? If border inspections really are needed, couldn't the U.S. hire a few more inspectors -- mightn't the costs be outweighed by the consumer gains from the extra competition? None of which is to say I know enough about the issue to declare it open and shut, only that your argument doesn't prove what you think it does, in fact tends to show the opposite. Another reason not to take your conclusory assertions seriously, especially about legal matters.
The Mexican truck case sure is on point. The point is that every Dispute Settlement ruling made against the USA has gone against the public health, the environment, public safety, workers rights, labor rights- this is an usurpation of our sovereignty intended to favor multinational corporate profits over the health and safety of people everywhere on earth. This is why there was a huge demonstration in Seattle, and why demonstrations are being held world wide against the WTO, IMF, and other multinational corporate entities that have no respect for individual rights.
A dispute settlement panel ruled that the USA has no right to block unsafe Mexican trucks from using our highways. You obviously didn't read the press release that I sent out on this.
This is an excerpt of what I sent out. Apparently, you are blind to the reality expressed here:
"The safety of our highways must not be compromised, no matter the price," said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. "Keeping Mexican trucks within a limited border area is essential for the safety of U.S. highways. The serious safety problems with the Mexican truck fleet have not been addressed since President Clinton first refused to open the border. Granting unlimited U.S. highway access to deadly Mexican trucks was then -- and is now -- an astoundingly bad idea." Claybrook served as the top U.S. auto safety official in the Carter administration.
U.S. Department of Transportation data show that Mexican carriers licensed to operate in the U.S. are more than three times as likely to have safety deficiencies as U.S. carriers. Common safety problems include faulty brakes, tires, taillights and brake lights. The problems found with Mexican trucks are among the top causes of serious crashes. In Mexico, trucks are allowed to carry heavier loads. Mexican truck drivers have no hours-of-service limitations compared to the limits set on U.S. drivers of 10 hours of continuous driving. While operating in the U.S., Mexican trucks are supposed to comply with U.S. standards, but the U.S. does not have enough inspectors to ensure that trucks crossing the border follow U.S. regulations.
"This ruling is exhibit A in the case for why NAFTA is a backwards, damaging agreement that the public dislikes more each time it trounces public safety in the name of an extreme corporate-managed trade agenda," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
Added Claybrook, "This ruling is particularly galling because it allows unelected bureaucrats essentially to overturn American laws and safety standards. It is also appalling that the ruling was based on trade alone; the panel refused to hear evidence about safety and the risks that the trucks pose to the American public."
Then there's your push for Ron Paul's bill to pull us out of the WTO. Again, you haven't made the argument, and offhand I don't get it. Yes, that might stop some automatic, routine, systemic applications of trade sanctions against us, for failure to harmonize, but it doesn't stop any other country that wants to from imposing such sanctions.
Paul's bill would pull us out of the United Nations. That way we would not be subject to Codex, which is part of the United Nations. Read the text of HR 1146 here http://www.house.gov/paul/legis/106/hr1146.htm
I have provided you with examples in which our laws have been forced to be harmonized, as well as sources of more information which would provide still more examples such as http://www.tradewatch.org but you haven't made the effort to examine the truth of the situation. I don't have a staff of people here, and don't have time to do any more than I have done which is to point you to where you can discover the truth I have found for yourself.
Aren't they *more* likely to do so if we slap the whole system in the face than if we just resist on a few particular issues? if they no longer have any treaty obligations to take our stuff and can do exactly as they please (under domestic pressures for protection and anti-Americanism) than if they do have such obligations and have to justify their sanctions? Again, I can't be sure -- I haven't really worked this out, and I do in general respect Paul --, but again you are displaying a tendency to make wild leaps and then pretend the canyon isn't there at all. Please, show us all the links, slowly and carefully.
Trade sanctions can't be imposed against us over the issue of dietary supplements if we pull out of the United Nations which would make us no longer subject to any decisions made by Codex because the Codex Alimentarius Commission is part of the United Nations. If you need things spelled out any more clearly than this, I'm not sure why. This seems very straight forward to me.
All this is all the more important now that you have gotten the oversight hearing scheduled, because if you don't understand these issues you could easily waste a good opportunity.
You fail to grasp what I have been saying. An oversight hearing is scheduled, but no effort is being made to include anyone from our side to present oral testimony. There is an immense amount of pressure on Congress to ignore the wishes of the grass roots on this issue and to favor the wishes of multinational pharmceutical interests which pump Congress full of PAC donations.
Judging from the attitude expressed thus far by the person putting the hearing together, the only witnesses who are likely to appear will be from such bodies as CRN and NNFA, and as I have established, these vitamin trade associations cannot be trusted as they are dominated from the top down by multinational pharmaceutical interests. I have no direct control over who Burton chooses to have present oral testimony.
The more people who sign the two petitions at http://www.garynull.com and at http://www.laleva.org/petizione/english/intro_eng.html the better chance we will have of getting GENUINE oversight on this issue. At Codex we are allegedly being "represented" by an unelected bureaucrat. The only person on the US delegation with voting and speaking rights at these meetings is Beth Yetley of the FDA. All the other countries are being "represented" by reps from sister organizations to the FDA. These meetings are often held far from our shores, and there is no transparency. They don't allow any videotaping or photography. They don't allow the press to interview delegates. Although I have a valid press pass, I was denied entry to the last meeting of the CCNFSDU in Berlin by the German government after being thrown off the US delegation due to my efforts as a whistleblower.
If I am right about the upward/downward thing, the key goal for the hearing must be to pin the FDA down about what they are trying to do at Codex.
Forget about "the upward downward thing" and grasp the concept of multinational corporate interests usurping our sovereignty, because that is what is going on. Hopefully this is easier to see when you look at the EU right now as it is a microcosm of what the globalists hope to do world wide as they seek to force us into a world government. An effort is being made right now to expand NAFTA via the FTAA, Free Trade Area of the Americas, and an effort will be made to force Canada and Mexico into a Union with the USA similar to the EU.
The key goal of the hearing is to be allowed to present oral testimony, because as things stand they intend to shut us out completely. They can't stop us from presenting written testimony, but it is often ignored. It will be harder for them to whitewash the issue if they can clearly see that a huge number of people are aware, concerned, and getting well informed. This is why I am asking people to sign the petitions. They must see that they can't make the issue "go away" by "going through the motions" of providing oversight.
For the new, WTO order does indeed create dangers of harmonization, just not the way you think. The problem comes from the ambiguous mission of Codex. Traditionally, I gather, it (with FDA help) has been trying to set rather minimal standards, suitable for poor countries. But the Uruguay round's adoption of these intended floors in the role of ceilings, treating them as the *maximal* standards that can be presumed legitimate rather than disguised protectionism, anything more requiring a showing of safety problems, may well prod Codex into taking *that* as its new mission. Or, of course, the goal could be something in between, some sort of "optimal" standards. If it isn't clear what is being done, the FDA can play games: They can push a very restrictive set of regulations at Codex, on the plea that it's necessary to give each country reasonable leeway to set its own philosophy of regulation without running up against trade law, and then turn around and argue to Congress for harmonization on the ground that this is the international consensus about what's best, even what's the minimum any country should do. (This is the sort of thing Harry Anslinger, America's first czar in the "War on Drugs," used to do. He'd use American clout to pressure other countries into adopting his policies, then tell Congress that everyone agreed with them and we had to go along to fulfill our duties internationally.) But once they've told Congress exactly how they conceive of Codex and their own role in it, we have a defense: If they say they believe in the traditional role of minimums, with the safety exaemption from harmonization as the proper way a nation does more if it wishes, then they can hardly push at Codex for a set of regs more restrictive even than the U.S.'s own; if they say they are only compiling a list of all the regs any country might conceivably want to impose without being suspected of hiding protectionist ploys, then they can't use that list to persuade anyone on the merits of the regulatory issue.
The mission of Codex is not at all "ambiguous." The mission of Codex is to create international trade standards governing anything that is ingested into the human body, and to do so in such a way as to maximize multinational corporate profits. The Codex Commission pretends to be concerned with "consumer protection" but in reality, they're concerned with protecting multinational corporate profits at all costs, and their meetings do not truly involve science, their meetings are a form of high drama at which decisions are appear to be "made" while actually all delegates with voting power are just carrying out orders to act as scripted prior to the meeting even taking place.
You are correct that the goal should be to establish some sort of optimal standards, but that will never happen unless so called "scientists" stop embracing unscientific concepts such as the RDA,RDI,UL, LOAEL, etc.
The FDA won't have to argue anything to Congress. You just don't seem to grasp the way the FDA is playing this game. Unless we can expose the FDA's efforts to develop unscientific safety standards for vitamins, NAS's unscientific, pharmaceutically funded "studies" will constitute the "gold standard" on vitamin safety which will be used against any country that refuses to harmonize its vitamin laws. The WTO's DSB can't directly force Congress to harmonize our laws. It doesn't work that way. They threaten to impose trade sanctions if we don't, and there will be too much pressure on Congress for them to not cave in to the demand, regardless of public opinion. Pressure to harmonize will come via that means as well as via the TABD and TACD, and through the media. We're already seeing AP news articles demanding that vitamin companies relabel all products in light of the new "UL's" , so the big push against the supplement industry is already well underway.
The incessant drumbeat against the industry is getting louder and louder, and will reach a crescendo at some point in the future unless we can expose and stop the scam from unfolding further.
To help stop what is unfolding please sign the petitions http://www.laleva.cc/petizione/english/intro_eng.html and at http://www.garynull.com and download the paper petition and Backgrounder for circulation in health food stores. This is our only chance to keep the deck from being stacked against us in the Codex oversight hearing and to show the EU and Codex that we won't stand for what they're trying to do to us.