When we signed the GATT Agreement, we also signed a subagreement called "SPS" (Sanitary Phytosanitary Measures) Agreement. http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/sps_e/spsagr_e.htm Under the terms of this agreement, the only legal basis on which a country can object to harmonizing their dietary supplement laws to an international standard is on a basis of SAFETY. [see delineation of this argument below]
FDA is setting the USA up to lose in a WTO Trade Dispute by falsely defining vitamin safety (with help from the pharmaceutically dominated National Academy of Sciences). All American vitamin companies need to rapidly be shown this, and they must grasp that they must file comments to the FDA/NAS proposed "Safety Framework for Dietary Supplements" when FDA calls for comments on this sometime after all monographs are completed by NAS, or they won't have standing to sue the FDA over this. Tell them to read the proposed "Safety Framework" for Dietary Supplements at http://www.nap.edu/html/dietary_supplements/NI000760.pdf The FDA is going to try to force all supplement ingredients through a drug like safety approval process based on this "safety framework" and with harmonization to international standards. They're also trying to impose "Upper Limits" on vitamin potencies that are totally unecessary and not consistent with sound science. (see http://www.iahf.com NAS Paper and Rebuttal)
HOW WE'RE BEING SET UP VIA THE SPS AGREEMENT
Read the whole SPS Agreement- especially the selected sections from it below, see text marked in red below... see my comments in square brackets in green. Especially see the 3 examples given below where the WTO has forced US laws to be changed....
1. To harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, Members shall base their sanitary or phytosanitary measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations, where they exist, except as otherwise provided for in this Agreement, and in particular in paragraph 3.
2. Sanitary or phytosanitary measures which conform to international standards, guidelines or recommendations shall be deemed to be necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and presumed to be consistent with the relevant provisions of this Agreement and of GATT 1994.
3. Members may introduce or maintain sanitary or phytosanitary measures which result in a higher level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection than would be achieved by measures based on the relevant international standards, guidelines or recommendations, if there is a scientific justification, or as a consequence of the level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection a Member determines to be appropriate in accordance with the relevant provisions of paragraphs 1 through 8 of Article 5.(2) Notwithstanding the above, all measures which result in a level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection different from that which would be achieved by measures based on international standards, guidelines or recommendations shall not be inconsistent with any other provision of this Agreement.
[By falsely defining vitamin safety, FDA/NAS, and their counterparts in the EU, are setting up the supplement industry world wide for forced harmonization to international standards. The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body is not run like a US court. It has completely different rules of evidence, and private citizens, no matter how well qualified, don't have standing to appear as witnesses before it. The only people with standing to appear before it are National Reps from WTO member nations, in the case of a WTO Dispute against DSHEA, unelected bureaucrat Dr.Beth Yetley of the US FDA would be the only person from the USA with standing to appear before this rigged court. Every decision made by the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body has gone against the environment, against the public health, against human rights, against labor rights. The sole determining factor influencing the outcome of the WTO's DSB is the profits of the multinational corporations that created the WTO.]
SPS AGREEMENT ANALYSIS CONTINUED
4. Members shall play a full part, within the limits of their resources, in the relevant international organizations and their subsidiary bodies, in particular the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Office of Epizootics, and the international and regional organizations operating within the framework of the International Plant Protection Convention, to promote within these organizations the development and periodic review of standards, guidelines and recommendations with respect to all aspects of sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
5. The Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures provided for in paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 12 (referred to in this Agreement as the "Committee") shall develop a procedure to monitor the process of international harmonization and coordinate efforts in this regard with the relevant international organizations.
Assessment of Risk and Determination of the Appropriate Level of Sanitary or Phytosanitary Protection 1. Members shall ensure that their sanitary or phytosanitary measures are based on an assessment, as appropriate to the circumstances, of the risks to human, animal or plant life or health, taking into account risk assessment techniques developed by the relevant international organizations.
[The Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO would consider the US National Academy of Science, and the EU's Scientific Committee on Foods to be "relevant" but any person or group who disagrees with their "findings" would be considered "irrelevant". The key to the pharmaceutical takeover of the supplement industry thus lies in falsely defining vitamin safety, and by making it impossible to challenge these false definitions by setting up a mickey mouse court rigged to block presentation of any contrary evidence.]
2. In the assessment of risks, Members shall take into account available scientific evidence; relevant processes and production methods; relevant inspection, sampling and testing methods; prevalence of specific diseases or pests; existence of pest — or disease — free areas; relevant ecological and environmental conditions; and quarantine or other treatment.
3. In assessing the risk to animal or plant life or health and determining the measure to be applied for achieving the appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection from such risk, Members shall take into account as relevant economic factors: the potential damage in terms of loss of production or sales in the event of the entry, establishment or spread of a pest or disease; the costs of control or eradication in the territory of the importing Member; and the relative cost-effectiveness of alternative approaches to limiting risks.
4. Members should, when determining the appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection, take into account the objective of minimizing negative trade effects.
5. With the objective of achieving consistency in the application of the concept of appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection against risks to human life or health, or to animal and plant life or health, each Member shall avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable distinctions in the levels it considers to be appropriate in different situations, if such distinctions result in discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. Members shall cooperate in the Committee, in accordance with paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Article 12, to develop guidelines to further the practical implementation of this provision. In developing the guidelines, the Committee shall take into account all relevant factors, including the exceptional character of human health risks to which people voluntarily expose themselves.
6. Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of Article 3, when establishing or maintaining sanitary or phytosanitary measures to achieve the appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection, Members shall ensure that such measures are not more trade-restrictive than required to achieve their appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection, taking into account technical and economic feasibility.(3)
7. In cases where relevant scientific evidence is insufficient, a Member may provisionally adopt sanitary or phytosanitary measures on the basis of available pertinent information, including that from the relevant international organizations as well as from sanitary or phytosanitary measures applied by other Members. In such circumstances, Members shall seek to obtain the additional information necessary for a more objective assessment of risk and review the sanitary or phytosanitary measure accordingly within a reasonable period of time.
8. When a Member has reason to believe that a specific sanitary or phytosanitary measure introduced or maintained by another Member is constraining, or has the potential to constrain, its exports and the measure is not based on the relevant international standards, guidelines or recommendations, or such standards, guidelines or recommendations do not exist, an explanation of the reasons for such sanitary or phytosanitary measure may be requested and shall be provided by the Member maintaining the measure.
Consultations and Dispute Settlement
1. The provisions of Articles XXII and XXIII of GATT 1994 as elaborated and applied by the Dispute Settlement Understanding shall apply to consultations and the settlement of disputes under this Agreement, except as otherwise specifically provided herein.
2. In a dispute under this Agreement involving scientific or technical issues, a panel should seek advice from experts chosen by the panel in consultation with the parties to the dispute. To this end, the panel may, when it deems it appropriate, establish an advisory technical experts group, or consult the relevant international organizations, at the request of either party to the dispute or on its own initiative.
[The Dispute Settlement Panel seeks advice from experts that it chooses from "the relevant international organization" (which to the pharmaceutical industry are the NAS in the USA and the Scientific Committee on Foods in the EU- both are in the hip pocket of pharmaceutical interests.) ]
3. Nothing in this Agreement shall impair the rights of Members under other international agreements, including the right to resort to the good offices or dispute settlement mechanisms of other international organizations or established under any international agreement.
1. A Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures is hereby established to provide a regular forum for consultations. It shall carry out the functions necessary to implement the provisions of this Agreement and the furtherance of its objectives, in particular with respect to harmonization. The Committee shall reach its decisions by consensus. 2. The Committee shall encourage and facilitate ad hoc consultations or negotiations among Members on specific sanitary or phytosanitary issues. The Committee shall encourage the use of international standards, guidelines or recommendations by all Members and, in this regard, shall sponsor technical consultation and study with the objective of increasing coordination and integration between international and national systems and approaches for approving the use of food additives or for establishing tolerances for contaminants in foods, beverages or feedstuffs.
[Illustrating oversight mechanism in which national laws are constantly reviewed and targeted for change, insuring a constant process of global harmonization.]
3. The Committee shall maintain close contact with the relevant international organizations in the field of sanitary and phytosanitary protection, especially with the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Office of Epizootics, and the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention, with the objective of securing the best available scientific and technical advice for the administration of this Agreement and in order to ensure that unnecessary duplication of effort is avoided.
4. The Committee shall develop a procedure to monitor the process of international harmonization and the use of international standards, guidelines or recommendations. For this purpose, the Committee should, in conjunction with the relevant international organizations, establish a list of international standards, guidelines or recommendations relating to sanitary or phytosanitary measures which the Committee determines to have a major trade impact. The list should include an indication by Members of those international standards, guidelines or recommendations which they apply as conditions for import or on the basis of which imported products conforming to these standards can enjoy access to their markets. For those cases in which a Member does not apply an international standard, guideline or recommendation as a condition for import, the Member should provide an indication of the reason therefor, and, in particular, whether it considers that the standard is not stringent enough to provide the appropriate level of sanitary or phytosanitary protection. If a Member revises its position, following its indication of the use of a standard, guideline or recommendation as a condition for import, it should provide an explanation for its change and so inform the Secretariat as well as the relevant international organizations, unless such notification and explanation is given according to the procedures of Annex B.
[Illustrates that countries are being put under a magnifying glass if they attempt to deviate from use of international standards when applying conditions for import. Countries are expected to "justify" their actions if they deviate from international standards.]
5. In order to avoid unnecessary duplication, the Committee may decide, as appropriate, to use the information generated by the procedures, particularly for notification, which are in operation in the relevant international organizations.
6. The Committee may, on the basis of an initiative from one of the Members, through appropriate channels invite the relevant international organizations or their subsidiary bodies to examine specific matters with respect to a particular standard, guideline or recommendation, including the basis of explanations for non-use given according to paragraph 4.
7. The Committee shall review the operation and implementation of this Agreement three years after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, and thereafter as the need arises. Where appropriate, the Committee may submit to the Council for Trade in Goods proposals to amend the text of this Agreement having regard, inter alia, to the experience gained in its implementation.
Members are fully responsible under this Agreement for the observance of all obligations set forth herein. Members shall formulate and implement positive measures and mechanisms in support of the observance of the provisions of this Agreement by other than central government bodies. Members shall take such reasonable measures as may be available to them to ensure that non-governmental entities within their territories, as well as regional bodies in which relevant entities within their territories are members, comply with the relevant provisions of this Agreement. In addition, Members shall not take measures which have the effect of, directly or indirectly, requiring or encouraging such regional or non-governmental entities, or local governmental bodies, to act in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement. Members shall ensure that they rely on the services of non-governmental entities for implementing sanitary or phytosanitary measures only if these entities comply with the provisions of this Agreement.
[Shows pressure to change our domestic laws to conform to international standards. Shows that this pressure extends to regional bodies within a country: eg states: to also change their laws to conform to international standards.]
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