Big Money Feeds Anti Consumer Vitamin Agenda

Connection between Pharma-Cartel, FDA, CRN, NNFA exposed

Understanding CODEX Point by Point

by John C. Hammell, legislative advocate
International Advocates for Health Freedom
PO Box 625, Floyd, Virginia, 24091 USA
800-333-2553, http://www.iahf.com, jham@iahf.com
fax 540-745-6535, overseas 540-745-6534

This article explores the connections between the Pharma Cartel, FDA, CRN, and NNFA. The latter organizations,Council for Responsible Nutrition and National Nutritional Foods Association are trade associations supposedly representing interests of those engaged in marketing dietary supplements. Health Food stores and small vitamin manufacturers who belong to NNFA are cutting their own throats as members of NNFA, and after reading this should ask themselves if their interests are truly being served by NNFA, or have they been deceived?

NNFA, the group closest to grass roots interests, has done nothing to help me get an Oversight Hearing on the FDA's illegal actions before the Codex Alimentarius Commission's Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Use, and this article explains why health food stores, and small to mid sized vitamin companies which belong to NNFA are being massively deceived by members with pharmaceutical clout. This article explains exactly how, and what to do about it.

In February 1999, the Pharma-Cartel received its biggest blow from which it is unlikely to recover. Under pressure, Deutsche Bank (German bank) had to reveal that the German pharmaceutical companies Hoechst, Bayer and BASF, the spearheads of the international Pharma-Cartel, were the financial supporters and executors of the worst crimes ever committed in recorded human history. The Nazi war machine was fueled by this cartel, which was code named "IG Farben"("Interest Union Colors"). IG Farben ran Auchwitz, and the other concentration camps, the slave labor from which produced bullets, rubber tires and other necessary materials for Hitler's war machine. IG Farben also produced the Zyclon B gas used to murder the prisoners in the camps. The Deutsche Bank is still the bank of Hoechst, Bayer and BASF use today. They're making a concerted effort to merge with Bankers Trust in the USA to become the biggest bank in the world, an effort which must be exposed, and stopped!

Unfortunately, the Nuremberg war trials did not truly disband IG Farben, because Hoechst, Bayer and BASF were allowed to continue, and they're at the forefront of a push to destroy health freedom, as well as to form a "New World Order" http://www.rath.nl Pharma Cartel section: "Matthias Rath, M.D.s Open Letter to the American Health Food Community".

The United States Department of Justice has just fined a German firm BASF Aktiengesellschaft of Ludwigshafen Germany $225 million for its role in an international price fixing scam on the international sale of vitamin raw materials, which has been ripping off consumers, and all of the American NNFA manufacturing members who buy from BASF's New Jersey affiliate for the past several years.

Cartel's try to shield themselves from liability in cases like this by setting up affiliates, which may or may not have any direct knowledge of what the parent company is doing, yet NNFA Executive Director Michael Ford, (who called me a liar in a recent email) refuses to address this issue, or anything related to it (i.e. CODEX). Ford recently denied in an email to me, that BASF or Rhone Polenc (also involved in the scam) are even members of NNFA, despite the fact that both are very clearly listed in the NNFA Membership directory for 1998 on p. 6 and p. 50 respectively! (See the DOJ Press Release from May 21: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/press_releases/1999/2450.htm - more details below. It was Ford's refusal to debate me on the Gary Null show that prompted me to write this expose.


What Dr. Rath and I have to say about what is going on in the dietary supplement industry would be libelous, if it weren't entirely true. Many honest health food stores, and vitamin companies that are members of NNFA are unaware that the organization is being manipulated from the top- down, through the political/economic influence of its pharmaceutically oriented members, who pay the most in dues, and whose membership today constitutes a gross conflict of interest for the many reasons clearly outlined here.

It is my fervant wish, that after digesting the information presented here, the REAL NNFA, (the one that started years ago on someone's kitchen table to defend the natural food and supplement industry), along with the consuming public, will rise up and recognize the threat to health freedom in their midst, and take the necessary steps to address it. The pharmaceutical companies within NNFA (and CRN) are leading us directly to the cliff, but most people don't see it, not even I truly saw it clearly, until a few days ago when NNFA Executive Director Michael Ford refused to examine several specific things I tried calling to his attention, or to engage me in open debate on the radio. He appears to have much to attempt to cover up....

See the Pharmaceutical OVERLAP Between NNFA /CRN and FDA

BASF, is a member of both the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) and the Council for Responsible Nutrition, (CRN), Bayer, (which also helped fuel Hitler's war machine) is also a member of CRN.

Capsugel, (division of Warner Lambert) is also a member of both NNFA and CRN. Randy Dennin of Capsugel is the Chair of NNFA's International Committee, which formulated NNFA's position on CODEX. (Dennin refuses to take my calls or to have any dialogue whatsoever..)

Joe Bassett, President of NNFA told me that their CODEX position was created "primarily by Randy Dennin, of Capsugel (Warner Lambert), and Karl Reidel of Nature's Life, with only token involvement from the Committee."

John Hathcock, Ph.D. of CRN, used to work directly with Dr.Beth Yetley of the FDA, the U.S. delegate the the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Use. He went from the FDA- directly to CRN. He and CRN have helped fabricate a quasi scientific foundation for FDA's position on CODEX.

As the government rep, Yetley is the only member of the US Codex delegation with voting power. Could the overlaps discussed above between CRN/NNFA/FDA be the reason why NNFA sides with CRN and FDA at CODEX?

Could this be the reason why Michael Ford of NNFA refuses to debate me, and could this be the reason why John Hathcock of CRN refuses to return Brian Leibovitz, Ph.D.s calls?

(Leibovitz, the former editor of the Journal of Applied Nutrition, and also of the Journal of Optimal Nutrition, is highly critical of Hathcock's support of the NAS paper titled "A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Maximum Upper Levels for Nutrients", which he correctly terms "pseudoscience". The paper advocates restricting high potency vitamins as "drugs" and recommends a "UL" (safe upper level) on niacin at just 35 mg. Leibovitz points out that ANY substance can be toxic at some level. Even WATER will kill you if one drinks enough of it. He points out the hypocrisy of creating UL s on safe dietary supplements, when none have ever been created for pharmaceutical drugs, which kill over 100,000 annually when "properly" prescribed and administered.

The FDA used a National Academy of Science (NAS) paper illegally at Codex, over the written objection of Congressman Dan Burton, Chair of the House Government Reform Committee and several other members of Congress. CRN and NNFA support the FDA's illegal actions.

The FDA (and CRN/NNFA) are clearly trying to hide behind the fact that NAS is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (since NAS is a non profit organization and technically not part of the government). We're unable to review their raw data, or the CV s of the people who wrote the so called "Risk Assessment" paper, however we do know that at least three members of CRN made financial contributions to its drafting: Roche Vitamins Inc. (Div. Hoffman La Roche), Daiichi Fine Chemicals Inc., Kemin Foods. The paper was also funded by a mysterious entity called "the Dietary Reference Intakes Corporate Donors Fund"...... which could include ANY pharmaceutical company. Additionally, the paper was funded by the FDA, Health Canada, the US Dept. of Agriculture, (the same agency co-funding research into genetically altered foods in cooperation with major drug companies), the NIH Office of Nutritional Supplements, the US Dept. of HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the Agricultural Research Service, the Dept. of Defense, Mead Johnson Inc, M&M Mars, Weider Nutrition Group, and the Natural Source Vitamin E Association (which is sponsored by large food chemical interests.)

It's a serious abrogation of our rights when an unelected bureaucrat purports to represent the interests of all Americans to an international policy setting body, where additional unelected bureaucrats from other countries, (to which we have no access) also vote on matters impacting on us here. CODEX is nothing more than a shellgame, and is grossly insulting to our whole system of representational government, of which it is not a part. Not surprisingly, when I challenged Yetley to obey the will of Congress and the will of the people at the Codex meeting in Berlin (see details below), she not only ignored me, but Ray Maggio and John Hathcock of CRN jumped to her defense. I caught all of this on videotape. A portion of the tape has been uploaded to the Life Extension Foundation's website at http://www.lef.org/shop/fda2.htm


On May 21, 1999 The US Dept. of Justice issued a press release announcing: "Roche, BASF Agree to Pay Record Fines for Participating in Vitamin Cartel- Hoffman La Roche agrees to Pay $500 Million, Highest Criminal Fine Ever- Swiss Executive Agrees to Plead Guilty and Serve U.S. Jail Time" BASF plead guilty and paid a fine of $225 million for its role in the same antitrust conspiracy. The Department of Justice charged the corporations with conspiring to fix, raise, and maintain prices, and to allocate the sales volumes sold by them and other unnamed co-conspirator companies in the US and elsewhere.


The scam involved fixing and raising prices on Vitamins A, B2, B5, C, E, Beta Carotene, and vitamin premixes. Joel I. Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division stated that "During the life of the conspiracy, virtually every American consumer paid artificially higher prices for vitamins and vitamin enriched foods in order to feed the greed of these defendants and their co-conspirators who reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue." Rhone Poulenc escaped prosecution in the scandal by cooperating with the Justice Department's investigation.



When confronted with news of the Vitamin price fixing scam, Michael Ford, Executive Director of NNFA flat out denied in an email reply to me that BASF or Rhone Polenc are members of NNFA, despite the fact that both companies are listed in NNFA's 1998 Membership Directory.. I called Ford's attention to the fact that CODEX would enable these companies to achieve the same end result, and even MORE (by getting high potency vitamins regulated as "drugs") but Ford refuses to kick these companies out, or even to discuss this or such related issues as CODEX despite the fact that BASF and Rhone Poulenc were illegally gouging all other NNFA member manufacturers (and consumers) to the tune of millions of dollars by charging artificially inflated prices for vitamin raw materials.

Perhaps because it doesn't suit the agenda of the pharma-cartel, Ford appears to ignore the Law Loft's Comments in Response to The Food and Drug Administration's Request of July 7, 1997 - Action: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Proposed Rules on Consideration of Codex Alimentarius Standards (http://www.iahf.com under "Codex Oversight"

These comments thoroughly analyze the fact that the Codex Alimentarius Commission runs totally contrary to the entire concept of representative government on which the American system of government is based, and the Law Loft calls strongly for the need for Congressional Oversight as well as Judicial Review, to insure that the FDA does not violate the Constitutional constraints which bind it. The Law Loft clearly exposes the fact that the FDA is trying to give the Codex Alimentarius Commission even more power than they're obligated to under current international law.

Questions which Ford refuses to answer (but which all NNFA members should ask after reading the Law Loft comments) are why NNFA and Citizens for Health failed to file comments to the aforementioned ANPR, and why they failed to alert their members and the public at large? (The REASON NNFA and Citizens for Health never filed comments to this ANPR and the REASON why no effort was ever made to alert the public should be apparent by now.)

While refusing to debate me on the Gary Null radio show regarding these issues and CODEX, Ford has accused me via email of "spreading lies", while it is clear that he himself, is not only lying, but that he is working directly against the interests of most of his members. Members should be asking Ford why someone in his position has not supported a CODEX oversight hearing!

NNFA charges membership dues on the basis of a company's revenue. What is Ford's salary, and how much do BASF, and Rhone Poulenc pay towards it? NNFA members should take a very close look at this from a conflict of interest stand point, and they better look VERY closely at why NNFA and CRN have been actively blocking me from getting a hearing on CODEX by deliberately overloading Beth Clay with non time sensitive issues while simultaneously telling the House Government Reform Committee that "a hearing on Codex isn't necessary."

Why doesn't NNFA have an "Open Meeting" policy written into their bylaws, wherein notices of meetings on important issues such as CODEX are made in the "members only" section of the NNFA website, along with a list of topics of discussion, a list of committee members and how to contact them, a complete disclosure of any possible conflict of interest held by members of all NNFA committees (especially the International Committee which addresses CODEX issues)?

Why doesn't NNFA post the minutes of meetings on the website in order to invite participation from all members in key decisions, such as CODEX? Why didn't the NNFA International Committee post the link to the NAS Risk Assessment paper so that all members could read it and comment on it to the International Committee? (If this had happened, the International Committee would never have been able to actively support CRN and FDA's position on CODEX, and the trade association wouldn't be manipulated from the top down, as it currently obviously is. At this time it appears NNFA doesn't do things this way, so that most members never even consider issues pertaining to conflict of interest. Like the nose on your face, its just not seen til one looks in the mirror.


It should be noted that Dr. Rath used to work directly with the late Dr. Linus Pauling. Between them they discovered more fundamental causes and solutions to human cardiovascular disease, the world's number one killer— and this puts their advocacy of the use of vitamins directly in the way of the huge profits which the pharma-cartel makes off the sale of heart drugs, the sale of which comprise the largest sector of pharmaceutical sales. Rath urges us to take a much closer look at CRN, NNFA, and other trade associations which claim to represent us.

Rath's "Open Letter to the American Health Food Community," "Chemnitz Program" and other materials are "must reading" for every American, especially for health food store owners, and owners of small to mid sized vitamin manufacturers, who stand to be driven out of business by the conflict of interest which clearly dominates NNFA. (I have posted Rath's open letter in the "Codex Oversight" section of http://www.iahf.com with some introductory comments because while I generally agree with most of what Rath is saying, I have a few views that differ and which will help anyone, including Dr. Rath, to see the issue more clearly. Rath's website should be carefully examined at http://www.rath.nl.

It should be noted that Dr. Rath held a demonstration with over 1000 people in front of the gates of the compound leading to the German Ministry of Health building where the Codex meeting was held in September. Rath put up 50 billboards all over Berlin along with a huge hanging banner to protest the holding of the meeting on German soil because of the direct connection between CODEX and IG Farben, which fueled Hitler's war machine.


I hope by now that NNFA and Citizens for Health members, and the vitamin consuming public can grasp the fact that they've been spoon fed a lot of deliberate misinformation about CODEX. It is an international threat to Health Freedom. I badly need your help to get an oversight hearing before the next Codex meeting, which is in Rome at the end of June. NNFA/CfH have been BLOCKING us from getting a hearing on a timely basis by jamming the House Government Reform Committee with a slew of non time sensitive issues that have effectively blocked us from getting the hearing we need in time.





The UN's Codex Alimentarius Commission was established in 1962, ostensibly to set international standards pertaining to the sale of food products, including dietary supplements. In 1963, with influence from the now "disbanded" IG Farben, Hoechst, Bayer and BASF, the drug and chemical combine that fueled Hitler's war machine. After the Nuremburg Tribunal dismantled IG Farben, the companies comprising it were allowed to remain in business. Seeing the need to wipe out competition from the dietary supplement industry, political manipulation by these companies resulted in Germany becoming the host country for the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use in 1963.

Codex didn't develop "teeth" until passage of the Uruguay Round of GATT which dissolved GATT and created the World Trade Organization. The WTO includes a new international court, the Dispute Settlement Body: "DSB". The Codex Commission can't directly force a country to adopt a CODEX standard, but it can make it wish it had by imposing trade sanctions, if it can't justify the higher potencies on a basis of safety, (which is predicated on CODEX pseudoscience.)

If agenda item #5 (vitamins and minerals) gets pushed through to completion at Codex, current US dietary supplement laws would be in conflict with it, as the Proxmire Act and DSHEA allow access to high potency vitamins at potencies far in excess of what Codex would allow. A company wanting to sell high potency vitamins as "drugs" in the USA could go to the DSB and complain that we've erected an "unfair trade barrier" because our current law allows higher potencies than the CODEX standard to be sold as dietary supplements. (In countries which have adopted CODEX standards, the same high potency products could be sold as "drugs", for much greater profits.)

The DSB would challenge us on a basis of safety, and their standard of evidence would be the totally unscientific paper which the FDA illegally put on the table at Codex in Berlin in September of 1998, "A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Safe Upper Levels of Nutrients." As will be reiterated below, funding for this paper was made partially via pharmaceutical companies which have penetrated NNFA, and CRN vitamin trade associations which are caught in a serious conflict of interest.

Additionally, by signing the Sanitary-Phytosanitary Measures Agreement, (a side agreement to both NAFTA and GATT), we agreed to continuously harmonize our laws to emerging CODEX standards, and the International Council on Harmonization was created specifically to monitor each countries compliance. Currently, Americans are under the illusion that they are protected by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. The drug definition in DSHEA is seriously flawed, and gives the FDA enormous latitude.

It states that the FDA can remove a vitamin from the market if it considers it to pose either a "substantial or an unreasonable risk". (Where FDA has sole discretion to determine what is meant by these terms. In Pearson v. Schalala, the Court recently requested that the FDA define what they mean by "significant scientific agreement" (an arbitrary standard which FDA had been using to ban truthful health claims on dietary supplements, and which they'll never be able to define on any scientific basis.) The same problem of arbitrariness exists when the FDA can remove a product from the market if they consider it to pose either a "substantial or an unreasonable risk". The Consumer Health Free Speech Act, HR 1709, was introduced to fix this by changing the "or" to an "and" which would make it much harder for the FDA to justify any arbitrary action.

The FDA could use the NAS Risk Assessment paper to ban high potency vitamins on the basis of safety concerns unless HR 1709 is passed. Theoretically, the FDA blocked us from doing this by the amendment to the FDA Modernization Act which forbids them from harmonizing our laws pertaining to dietary supplements, but the FDA has already ignored this law by publicly taking actions which would have the effect of "harmonizing" US regs to the rest of the world's.

(These actions occurred in Bonn in ‘96 when Yetley illegally seconded the Canadian motion to shift deliberations on herbs out of the CODEX Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use (where they would at least be regarded as foods as they are in the USA) over to a largely secret WHO committee to which consumers have no access where they'll be regarded as "drugs". This action occurred in direct response to consumer protests, especially in Canada, to a negative, "no trade" list proposal for herbs which threatened to ban the sale of many safe herbs from international commerce.

Rather than simply drop the "negative list" proposal for herbs, and continue discussing them as foods in accordance with the will of consumers all over the world, without conferring with the rest of us on the US delegation, Dr. Yetley of the FDA violated current US law by seconding the Canadian motion- which shifted deliberations on herbs totally out of the Codex process, to an even LESS transparent situation, before a secret WHO panel to which we have no access.

Additionally, in ‘98, the FDA's action of putting the grossly unscientific NAS "Risk Assessment" paper on the table at CODEX must be seen in the proper context. FDA is hiding behind the fact that the NAS is not part of the government, so is not subject to FOIA. Thus there is no way the public can examine their raw data, or examine any possible conflict of interest among its authors because their CV s , (which would indicate pharmaceutical research grants representing conflict of interest), aren't publicly available. Congressman Burton, Paul, Stump, Cook and De Fazio sent a letter to the FDA prior to the Berlin Codex meeting which requested that they remove the second paragraph from their Codex comments on agenda item #5 (vitamins and minerals) because they violated current US law, and that they remove the NAS risk assessment paper from the table at Codex for the same reason.

The FDA responded with a very misleading letter from Melinda K. Plaiser, Deputy Associate Commissioner for Legislative Affairs which falsely asserts that consumers and Congress's objection stems from a "."

A thorough rebuttal to Plaiser's false assertion and a more complete discussion of this whole situation can be found at http://www.iahf.com in the CODEX OVERSIGHT section of the site in an article titled " FDA IS USING CODEX IN AN ILLEGAL ATTEMPT






(Some of these points were made above, while others are new. The purpose of this section is to break up the issue into a series of individual points. Reading each will help the reader to grasp the issue better. It is recommended that you read through these, then re-read the article above, along with all materials in the CODEX OVERSIGHT section of the IAHF website at http://www.iahf.com for a thorough understanding.)


1. Call the House Government Reform Committe at 202-225-5074 and ask to speak with Beth Clay. Beth has been spearheading the FDA Oversight hearings. I have met with her, and we have been promised a hearing, but Beth doesn't really understand the time sensitivity of the issue, or the fact that she is being manipulated by NNFA and CRN, who've been trying to stall her on this issue by filling her plate with less important, non time sensitive issues. We need a hearing before June 24th, when the next meeting of the Codex Executive Committee Meets.

2. FAX this in to Beth at 202-225-3974. I want to emphasize that Beth is not the problem. She is very good at her job, and there is no reason for anyone to get mad at her. I deeply appreciate the good job she's been doing. Its not her fault that she doesn't see the issue clearly. She's been kept far to busy by NNFA to have a chance to study a lot of the things I've been trying to explain.

3. Make copies of this and give it to more people. This article will be posted in the IAHF website at http://www.iahf.com in the Codex Oversight section.


I badly need donations in order to represent you at the next Codex meeting which is in Rome Italy at the end of June. Please donate to me by June 15th , if possible, to help me get to the meeting in order to monitor what goes on. The FDA has greased the skids on the issue through their illegal action of putting the NAS Risk Assessment paper on the table in violation of current US law which prohibits them from doing anything which threatens to harmonize us to Codex standards. I have written an article which delves more heavily into the legal issues here and it will be posted in the Codex Oversight section of the IAHF website. The website again is http://www.iahf.com