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Given my past complaints to you about the gross LACK OF TRANSPARENCY of TABD, (see below) especially as pertains to the dietary supplement issue, I have no choice but to not only CONTINUE complaining, but to do so very publicly on my website which gets a huge amount of traffic from vitamin consumers and supplement industry people world wide who correctly perceive that a VAST SLEIGHT of HAND maneuvering is going on BEHIND OUR BACKS. Allied websites world wide, as well as alternative media outlets world wide will be publicly airing this complaint of mine, so any lack of response on your part will be conspicuously and duly noted by millions of increasingly agitated people world wide who are taking to the streets in total disgust.

In the case of dietary supplements TABD maneuvering behind closed doors threatens to harmonize US laws to the mindlessly restrictive Vitamin Regulations currently being foisted off on an increasingly frustrated, increasingly ANGRY public in Europe- especially in England, Holland and Sweden where harmonization to EU standards threatens to remove HUNDREDS of safe dietary supplements from the shelves, posing a very SERIOUS threat to the public health.

In June in the UK there is going to be a HUGE anti EU health freedom march to protest the EU Vitamin Directive to which vitamin consumers across the USA recognize TABD as attempting, behind closed doors, to harmonize American law to. See We are NOT taking this laying down, and neither are vitamin consumers in Europe. The total LACK of transparency vis a vis TABD and TACD has left us with no choice but to take to the STREETS, Seattle style. IAHF is exposing the pharmaceutical agenda to take over the dietary supplement industry via and via our main site at

The uniform perception of vitamin consumers and small vitamin companies going to the TABD website is that you are being less than forthright about what is going on at TABD. It does not lend an air of credability when people can't even OPEN this Midyear 2002 TABD Report. Why is this happening? The only conclusion we can come to which makes any sense is that multinational corporate interests are attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of American vitamin consumers so that we can't SEE what you people are doing in your highly secretive meetings to which we have no access, and to which only CEOs of vitamin companies engaging in Trans Atlantic trade have been invited. I demand access to all TABD meetings in future as a representative of vitamin consumers world wide who don't trust anything you people are doing and who would like to be able to directly monitor your proceedings. More polite formal requests of this nature have been ignored in the past, leaving me no option but to take the gloves off now.

There is no POINT in trying to tell me that I "should get involved in the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)" and to "make my voice heard via them" given the fact that TACD is already dominated by organizations such as so called "Center for Science in the Public Interest" (CSPI) and Public Citizen which have long track records of first trying to BLOCK passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, then, of trying constantly to get it REPEALED.

Having personally interracted with Public Citizen in an effort to get Ralph Nader and his staff to take a closer look at their position on this matter I have discovered that Sidney Wolfe, MD on Nader's staff is an intractable allopathic MD who is very BIASED against all forms of alternative medicine, and that he is a RABID opponent of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

I see NO evidence that either TABD or TACD are transparent or honest. To be accepted for membership in TACD an organization must meet legal requirements that are impossible to comply with for the average grass roots organization- clearly illustrating that TACD is nothing more than a front group for multinational corporate interests who are actively coopting any REAL consumer voice via ASTROTURF organizations, to which they pump donations, or at the very least, with which they feel comfortable allowing via TACD to "represent" consumers as supposed "Public Advocacy" or "Consumer" groups.

There is just one PROBLEM here, and that is that neither Public Citizen or CSPI speak for American dietary supplement consumers, and now via TACD they are attempting to UNDERMINE our domestic law via international harmonization being sought by the multinational corporate interests dominating TABD.

Lisa: you never responded to this email below which remains on the IAHF website: Please respond, and please respond to all other concerns expressed herein. Also please send the report from this Chicago meeting taking place right now, along with the non transparent "Midyear 2002" report that currently is listed on the TABD website, but which is not downloadable as of November 7th, 2002.


John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062-0632
800-333-2553 N.America
540-961-0476 World

To: "Health Freedom, Codex Issues
Subject: Is There Transparency at Meetings of TABD's Dietary Supplement
Working Group? Sending Again: Dietary Supplement Working
Group list enclosed
From: "I A H F"
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 13:43:37 -0500

Lisa Schroeter, TABD, Thank you for your previous response to my questions, please respond to additional questions in my detailed letter to you below. For the sake of total transparency, I am asking these questions publicly and will publicly air your response so that vitamin consumers, health food stores, and small to mid sized vitamin companies all over the USA and all over the world can all determine for themselves whether or not they trust TABD since TABD has publicly stated an agenda to harmonize dietary supplement laws between the USA and the EU (see ) Given that the EU Vitamin Directive was just passed in the EU over the objections of over 547 consumer votes in the largest public referendum in history TABD's expressed desire to harmonize US dietary supplement regulations to the EU poses an unacceptable threat to American dietary supplement consumers and small businesses.

IAHF List: Now that the EU has passed their draconian Vitamin Directive to begin a process of protecting pharmaceutical interests and blocking consumer access to safe vitamins and minerals, via UN NGO organizations "Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue" and "Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue", multinational pharmaceutical interests controlling both NGO groups are embarking in a series of non transparent, closed meetings intended to harmonize American dietary supplement laws to the outrageously restrictive EU Vitamin Directive and Codex. Via similar means pharmaceutical interests are pushing the same harmonization agenda in South Africa, New Zealand and other countries right now.

What follows below is ongoing correspondence with Lisa Schroeter, spokesperson for TABD expressing the concern that TABD is less than transparent, and appears to have an anti consumer agenda. Please see my original email to TABD at the very end of this message, Lisa Schroeters response which is filled with disturbing inconsistencies, and my latest series of questions to her follow below......consumers all over America and the entire dietary supplement industry must join me in asking these questions, especially if they belong to any vitamin trade associations since all of them have representatives at TABD but do not appear to be properly apprising their membership of TABD's harmonization agenda....


IAHF Response to TABD's Lisa M. Schroeter

At 09:42 AM 3/13/02 -0500, Lisa M. Schroeter wrote:

Dear Mr. Hammell,
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately the meeting that you mentioned actually took place several weeks ago. In terms of TABD working group sessions, they are traditionally not public meetings as they are working sessions for the various issue leaders to come together and prepare for their work.

Lisa- There are some very disturbing inconsistencies in what you are saying in response to my previous questions that I would appreciate having addressed completely. The information I have from a European source is that a meeting is scheduled of the TABD working group on dietary supplements for the end of this month of March. This source would have no reason whatsoever to be inaccurate in telling me that as he is an industry insider. When and where will that meeting in fact be taking place, how did the people on the dietary supplement working group get selected to be on it, and can more people join it and if not, why not? When I have queried Peter Heer about this from Hoffman La Roche, no response whatsoever was forthcoming. He is listed as the contact person for a TABD press release listed below that I found on the website of the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

I note that the US Justice Dept. heavily fined Hoffman La Roche (with the largest fines ever issued in their history), and so did their international counterparts, for engaging in illegal price fixing in the sale of vitamin raw materials. I find it very disturbing that an employee (Peter Heer) from this company is leading the TABD working group on dietary supplements because the past criminal actions of the company which are thoroughly publicly documented on the website of the US Dept of Justice do nothing to allay my suspicions of their intent as "leaders" of the TABD dietary supplement working group since they are being "led" by a representative of a company which in the past has engaged in criminal actions intended to rip off the vitamin consuming public as well as supplement manufacturers who buy their raw materials.

I am now forced to wonder if Hoffman La Roche and other large raw material suppliers represented on TABD might have a similar agenda that they're now trying to pursue via TABD and Codex via harmonization. This theory seems not only plausable, but highly likely especially given this TABD/CRN press release about the intentions of TABD: (see full press release and my comments below.)

Correct me if I am wrong, but what you're in fact telling me here is that as a licensed, credentialled member of the press, and as a consultant to several dietary supplement companies, I cannot observe upcoming TABD dietary supplement working group meetings or get the minutes of them to see what is taking place inside these meetings? If not, then can you please explain to me how meetings of TABD are any more "transparent" than, say, meetings of the Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Masons, the Skull and Bones Society or any other secret organization that bars the press and public from being able to see what they are doing?

(Some of these groups do make limited spin controlled public statements, but when we have no access to their meetings, when the minutes of their meetings are kept secret, when the press is not allowed inside, can any of them honestly claim any REAL transparency?)

All of the official recommendations and statements from TABD, however, are publicly accessible via our website The TABD is an extremely transparent process, posting all of our official documents and the various issue leaders and businesses involved in working towards consensus recommendations in support of economic growth and global, rules-based free trading system.

I hope that this information is useful to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
Lisa Schroeter


There are some very disturbing inconsistencies with what you are saying, and with what the TABD website is saying about alleged "transparency" and "objectivity" and I would appreciate it if you would please answer all questions contained herein to my satisfaction. I feel compelled to copy this message to legal counsel, to several members of Congress, as well as to the Global Trade Watch division of Public Citizen because your reply to my question, combined with additional questions I have about TABD make it impossible for me to trust the organization at this time and I question strongly whether the vitamin consuming public or small manufacturers and health food stores can either.

I have some really serious concerns about sovereignty issues given this WTO instigated global "harmonization" process which seems intent on forcing changes to our domestic laws, in this case, laws pertaining to dietary supplements that I and millions of other Americans helped to shape.

I have some very real concerns about this so called "rules- based free trading system" because it seems to me that it is designed to favor the business interests of the large pharmaceutical companies over small vitamin companies while disenfranchising people world wide and this is why there are huge riots whenever the WTO, IMF and other globalist bodies hold meetings. People do not like or tolerate being disenfranchised this way, and do not like being victimes of globalization. Witness the riots in Indonesia due to the outrageous policies of the World Bank, and the same sort of unrest is not occurring in Ecuador and Argentina for the exact same reasons. The TABD along with all UN NGO organizations desirious of the public trust had better not attempt to ignore concerns such as mine or the public outcry against globalization will only keep increasing. Due to this enormous public outcry, our would be slave masters have taken to holding meetings of the WTO inside of such police states as Quatar which bar protestors from even entering their country, much less from holding demonstrations.

On the TABD website I used your sites internal search engine and searched under the search term "dietary supplements". The only documents that come up are which provides exactly ZERO information of any SPECIFICS involving the Dietary Supplement Working Group of TABD. At on p.36 I find the following statement which does not provide me with the specifics I need for your "process" for trying to harmonize dietary supplement regulations between the EU and USA to be the LEAST BIT TRANSPARENT to me as either a licensed member of the press, or as the President of IAHF, a consulting firm to the dietary supplement industry with dietary supplement companies as clients. IAHF also has a close running dialogue with dietary supplement consumers world wide, and we are highly distrustful of the TABD as well as the "process" involving the EU Vitamin Directive, and the "process" involving the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission's efforts to generate a "standard" for vitamins and minerals. Here is the one single solitary statement on the TABD website about your deliberations on dietary supplements: p.36 "The TABD has called on governments to finalize the US-EU guidelines in regulatory cooperation, which would lay out commonly agreed principles for establishing good regulations. These guidelines must include operational transparency and committment to form regulation on an objective basis." (emphasis is mine)

Lisa, I have a real problem with this statement that TABD is being "transparent" and "objective", especially in light of the press release about the TABD working group on dietary supplements that I read on the website of the Council for Responsible Nutrition at

Here is what they say:

Monday, November 20, 2000
Contact: Mike Greene

U.S. and European Leaders Agree on Principles to Harmonize Dietary Supplement Regulations

WASHINGTON, DC -- The dietary supplements sector-working group of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) agreed on several key elements to harmonize the regulatory framework for vitamin and mineral food supplements on both sides of the Atlantic. These major breakthroughs were forged at the Sixth TABD CEO Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, from November 16-18.

The working group approved the principles and components on definition, safety, and GMPs. The working group also agreed to continue its dialogue and that its next steps would be to:

1.Define types of claims and appropriate labeling for food supplements and develop criteria for transatlantic acceptance of credible scientific evidence to substantiate these claims; evaluate mechanisms for authorizing/approving claims; and assess conditions for exclusivity to encourage research and development.

2.Encourage the scientific bodies responsible for the evaluation of the safety of total intakes of vitamins and minerals (EU Scientific Committee on Food and US Food and Nutrition Board) to cooperate closely to harmonize setting upper safe levels for vitamins and minerals.

3.Define and recommend methodologies for setting maximum levels for vitamin and/or mineral food supplements on the basis of upper safe levels of total intake for these nutrients and intakes from other sources. The responsible regulatory bodies are encouraged to cooperate and establish one set of figures for maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements on both sides of the Atlantic.

4.Seek urgently, in light of the imminent proposed US rule on GMPs, transatlantic harmony for implementing common GMPs and quality standards. The working group also agreed to develop practical procedures to support GMP details; and seek acceptance, implementation, and appropriate enforcement.

Progress toward transatlantic harmonization of dietary supplements was led by a team of supplement CEO's that included: Gale Bensussen, Leiner Health Products Inc.; William Van Dyke, B&D Nutritional Ingredients, Inc.; Johannes Burges, Hermes Arzneimittel; and Sonnich Fryland, Ferrosan. They were among the more than 120 industry leaders from the U.S. and the European Union who called on their governments to adopt a list of progressive trade liberalization measures at this TABD CEO Conference.

The CEO's, meeting with senior officials form the U.S. Administration, the European Commission, the U.S. Congress, and the European Parliament, made recommendations on how best to boost transatlantic and global trade and investment. They focused on specific mechanisms for resolving trade disputes and expanding the U.S.-EU commercial marketplace, which at $1 billion per day in two-way trade, is the world's largest trading relationship.

"The recommendations we have developed at this meeting will, if adopted by the governments, expand trade and investment opportunities for large, medium, and small companies by removing obstacles and inefficiencies in the U.S. and European regulatory regimes," said George David, chairman and CEO of United Technologies Corporation and US TABD chair for 2000. "Adoption of these recommendations will create jobs, raise living standards, lower costs and improve access to goodsthat is, provide concrete benefits for business, for labor, and for consumers."

The TABD is a results-oriented forum that seeks to increase transatlantic trade and investment opportunities through the removal of costly inefficiencies from excessive regulation, duplication and differences in the EU and U.S. regulatory systems and procedures in a manner consistent with sustainable development.

For details about the dietary supplement sector working group progress and future plans, contact either Issues Manager John CordaroUSA or Peter HeerEurope


Today a vote took place before the full EU Parliament in Strousbourg Belgium regarding the draconian EU Vitamin Directive, an outrageous measure designed by the multinational pharmaceutical industry to ban consumer access to vitamins and minerals within the therapeutic range except by prescription, and a ban a huge number of dietary supplements unless the manufacturers can "prove to the EU's satisfaction" that they are "safe". The EU Vitamin Directive was rammed down the throats of consumers in Europe by a vote of 383 votes for the Directive, 139 against it, and 19 abstentions. Due to this, vitamin companies now have 7 years to prove the safety of their products or many will be banned (an estimated 300 products will be banned from British health food store shelves, even though there is ZERO evidence of any DANGER posed to consumers by these extraodinarily safe products. Only the pharmaceutical companies and largest vitamin companies can afford the costs involved with this kind of required safety review, and it shouldn't even be necessary given the safety of these products. Clearly, this is a regulatory move to put small vitamin companies out of business so that the multinational pharmaceutical giants can dominate the industry which they have a vested interest in attempting to do because the existence of dietary supplements on the market serves as a disincentive to new drug development, and by enabling people to remain healthy and out of the clutches of doctors and hospitals dietary supplements hurt the business of the pharmaceutical industry.

So what the pharmaceutically owned raw material suppliers such as Hoffman La Roche and others on your TABD working group on dietary supplements are clearly and obviously attempting to do is the following: they're attempting to make vitamins and minerals within the therapeutic range only available by prescription. They're trying to set into motion a campaign to harmonize American dietary supplement laws to the mindlessly restrictive EU standards currently under "development" by the corrupt EU Parliament. That way they make MORE MONEY off LESS product, they stop vitamins from cutting nearly as much into the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals because they block most people from being able to afford them as we can now. Moreover, this move will please investors, which is a constantly harped on theme of TABD- to spur the global economy, to please investors.

Lisa, I was arrested in Seattle Washington for throwing tear gas cannisters back at the cops in the anti WTO demonstration on November 30, 1999 when we shut the WTO down. It is due to exactly the kinds of very real concerns that I'm expressing to you now about the lack of transparency in TABD, a UN NGO organization, that not a single person on the face of this earth can TRUST the "process" of so called "globalization".

In 1994 I, along with millions of other Americans worked very hard to air our views on the issue of dietary supplements before the US Congress when we were able to get legislation passed called The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. More Americans contacted Congress to get the passage of DSHEA than they did on any other issue in the HISTORY of Congress, including the Vietnam War.

I was kicked off the US Delegation to the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission's Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses due to my efforts as a whistleblower to expose criminal wrongdoing at UN meetings in Germany by the US government Rep who headed our delegation.

Due to lobbying by pharmaceutical interests which control the dietary supplement trade associations, an Oversight Hearing in Congress on this issue was whitewashed and I was not allowed to present testimony, and neither were any of my witnesses.

I am writing a book about all of this, Lisa, and I have supporters in Congress. This email is being bcced to a long paper trail of people in Congress who do not trust the WTO, the UN, or any NGO organization including TABD or TACD due to a gross lack of transparency in this "process" of harmonization.

I would like you to tell me HOW you feel this TABD process is in FACT transparent or objective given these very real concerns? I would like for you to tell me again the exact date and location of the upcoming scheduled meeting of the TABD working group on dietary supplements which I know to be scheduled for the end of this month, and I would like to know how I can go about participating? I am, after all, a consultant to several dietary supplement companies, and I do maintain an email distribution list of a huge number of dietary supplement consumer around the world with whom I am dialoguing on these issues. My website also has a huge amount of traffic, over 3,000 unique visitors per day from all over the world and more than 4 x that many hits. Plus I do radio shows on a regular basis all over the USA and my articles are published in Life Extension Magazine. I just had an article published in their most recent issue, would you like me to send you a complimentary copy? The website of the Life Extension Foundation is seen by even more visitors than visit my own site, and I sincerely hope you are forthcoming with information about the exact date, time and location of the upcoming meeting on the Dietary Supplement working group of TABD as well as information on how I may participate in order to be certain that it is in FACT transparent and objective.

I am skeptical that this TABD process is objective or transparent because I was forced to stop videotaping a UN Codex meeting in Germany and I view TABD as just as corrupt, if not more so. The same multinational corporate interests clearly dominate both the UN's Codex Commission and TABD. To illustrate the gross lack of transparency in the UN Codex Alimentarius Commission's Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use meetings, I digitized the videotape of the Chair of the meeting forcing me to turn my camcorder off, and I put it on the IAHF website in the Media section along with many audio files of radio shows on this issue that were done by Gary Null, PhD who has the largest syndicated radio show in the USA covering alternative medical topics as well as issues pertaining to dietary supplements and health freedom.

So please tell me exactly when and where the next meeting of the TABD Working Group on Dietary Supplements will be held and whether or not I may participate in it? If I cannot participate, please explain exactly why not, and if I can't participate, or even get the minutes of their meetings, please explain exactly how I (or any other vitamin consumer, health food store, or small to mid sized vitamin company) can possibly consider the TABD process to be in any way "transparent" or "objective"???

Thanking you in advance for your rapid, detailed response to these questions. I hope that your next email does not carry with it any of the disturbing inconsistencies contained in your last response to my questions. I feel compelled to seek both congressional and legal consultation in this matter because it seems to me that TABD is not transparent, or objective and that its actions may be indirectly threatening the lives of people in the USA as well as in Europe. In a free society there is no room for this type of corrupt, self serving corporate elitism.

For Health Freedom,
John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 625 Floyd, VA 24091 USA
800-333-2553 N.America
540-763-3051 World
540-763-3052 fax
See my previous mssg to you below, with the paper trail to only SOME of the members of Congress that I sent it to, the rest were bcced.


John Hammell on 03/11/2002 05:09:15 PM

Subject: Is There Transparency at Meetings of TABD's Dietary Supplement
Working Group? Sending Again: Dietary Supplement Working
Group list enclosed

From: John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom

To: The Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue
c/o Lisa Schroeter,
Jeffrey Warner

Re: Is There Transparency in Meetings of TABD's Dietary Supplement Working Group?

Dear Lisa and Jeffrey:

Tomorrow, March 12th, the EU Parliament will be voting on the highly restrictive EU Vitamin Directive. If it passes, (as it most likely will, unfortunately) some debate will be kept alive due to passage of a few amendments, and it if weren't for that, there would be no hope for vitamin consumers throughout the EU when the unelected European Commission moves in May to sign the measure into law.

It has come to my attention that the TABD Working Group on Dietary Supplements will be holding a meeting at the end of this month and that the following list of people will be participants. Vitamin consumers world wide have zero trust in dietary supplement trade associations due to the fact that in the EU, EHPM did absolutely NOTHING to try to kill the EU Vitamin Directive.

The perception now amongst consumers world wide, many of whom have a genetic need for the vitamins they take, is that the TABD and TACD are merely tools of the multinational pharmaceutical industry that have the intention of forcing the USA to harmonize its dietary supplement laws to the grossly restrictive dictates emerging in the EU and via the UN's Codex Commission.

Given these concerns, I would like to know if the press will be allowed to attend and to cover the upcoming TABD Dietary Supplement Working Group meeting or not? I am a credentialled member of the American Media Assn. and the President of International Advocates for Health Freedom. I would like permission to videotape the upcoming TABD Dietary Supplement Working Group meeting so as to digitize the footage and put it on the web so that American vitamin consumers and vitamin consumers world wide can see exactly what TABD is deliberating here for the sake of transparency. Please let me know about this.

At the very least I would like to know if minutes of your meeting will be publicly available, and if not, why not since you have the ear of the US Commerce Department and the USTR? Please tell me the exact location and time of this meeting as I would like to attend. If that is not possible for some reason, please state the exact reasons why it would not be possible.

For Health Freedom,
John C. Hammell, President IAHF


TABD Dietary Supplement Working Group

Gale Bensussen
Leiner Health Products, Inc.

Paul Bolar
Vice President, Regulatory and Legal Affairs
Pharmavite Corporation

Johannes Burges
Hermes Arzeimittel

Janet Collins, Ph.D.
Manager, Applied Nutrition
Monsanto Company

John Cordaro
President and CEO
Council for Responsible Nutrition

Hubertus Cranz
AESGP, Association of the European
Self-Medication Inducstry

Annette Dickinson
Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
Council for Responsible Nutrition

Sonnich Fryland
Ferrosan A/S

John Hathcock
Vice President, Nutritional and Regulatory Science
Council for Responsible Nutrition

Peter Heer
Deputy Director
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Loren Israelsen
Executive Director
Utah Natural Products Alliance

Byron Johnson
Industry Relations Director
Access Business Group

Harvey Kamil
NBTY, Inc.

Benedicte Lange
Corporate Development Director
Ferrosan A/S

Mark LeDoux
Chairman and CEO
Natural Alternatives International

Michael McGuffin
American Herbal Products Association

Simon Pettman
European Advisory Services

Karl Riedel
Chief Operations Officer
Nature's Life

Leoniek Robroch
Public Affairs & Regulatory Issues
Royal Numico N.V.

David Seckman
CEO and Executive Director

Fred Shinnick
Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Manager
Health and Food Technologies

Jaap Schrijver, Ph.D.
Manager Corporate Regulatory Affairs
Royal Numico N.V.

Lisa Schroeter
Executive Director
TABD Washington Office

David Spangler
Vice President International and Assistant General Counsel
Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Stephan van Geenen
Head Metabolism
Global Clinical & Regulatory Affairs

Penny Viner

Joerg Von Manger-Koenig
Head of Regulatory Affairs
Roche Vitamins Ltd

Jeffrey Werner
U.S. Director
TABD Washington Office