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IAHF List: See my detailed response below to Barbara Mikkelson of SNOPES (erstwhile debunkers of Urban Legends, aka Internet Hoaxes. Lynn Miller called this to my attention and I have responded in detail, below. I emailed Mikkelson challenging her to a radio debate on this issue and demanding she remove her inane pro FDA drivel from the Snopes website since Codex is most definitely NOT a "hoax." If Snopes annoys you as they did me, kindly send them an email via the form on their website to give Mikkelson a piece of your mind.....
Good Morning John,
I have posted one of your most recent letters on one of my websites that I am a member of, and this is the link that one of the ladies posted. What are your thoughts on this John? I need to post them back to the thread I started. Thank you John:) Lynn Miller
See comments below in [square brackets]. Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes was way too quick on the trigger. Ironically, while terming Codex an "urban legend", Mikkelson is perpetuating FDA's own spin against my message.
In addition to reading my detailed response (below) she should call me to get her facts straight because she is in way over her head when it comes to assessing this complex issue. I emailed her directly via a form on Snopes website asking for her email address and urging her to call me. I challenged her to a radio debate on this issue which she knows nothing about.
There WERE some inaccuracies in what Wallace Heath said in his widely circulated alert. Its too bad he didn't run that past me for editorial input before he sent it out, but his CONCERNS weren't unjustified, he just didn't have a solid enough understanding of the issue to be able to distribute an unassailable alert. Mikkelson, on the other hand, is clearly an apologist for the Pharma Cartel- she is openly calling for the Repealment of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act & her whole orientation is to obfuscate this all too VALID issue: (IAHF response to Snopes comments below [square brackets]
Snopes website said:
Claim: American consumers risk losing their right to purchase and use vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements.
IAHF Comment: [This is true. The SNOPES analysis below is grossly simplistic. To assert that Codex is a "non issue" just because S.722 and HR 3377 have not yet been reintroduced in the new congress is patently absurd, especially given that quick phonecalls to both Durbin's and Davis's offices indicates that they fully intend to reintroduce both bills, with slight changes, under new bill numbers, sometime in this new congress. We go through this EVERY Congress, and the REST of Mikkelson's simplistic analysis totally falls apart especially because she merely echoes the FDA's spin. (complete details below) Anyone can believe FDA (and Snopes) spin on this issue if they want to- but they'd be totally ignoring a slew of unassailable FACTS presented below.]
[I am not the originator of Wallace Heath's information, either. He never ran his alert past me for editorial input before he circulated it. I never even KNEW the guy til after he circulated it. He lives in Bellingham, Washington (one hour south of me) and his was an honest attempt to try to fight back, but he wasn't up to speed on the issue before he circulated his alert and he unwittingly played right into the spin doctor's hands.]
[He is a lot more up to speed now because he drove to my house and has met with me twice since he ciruclated his alert. We live in the same county. Wally Heath is a retired professor from Western Washington University, and he's a really good man who is using dietary supplements to treat BPH- Benign Prostate Hypertrophy.]
[His concerns on this issue were motivated by a very REAL threat which he lacked thorough understanding of before he sounded his heavily circulated alarm. While some of his specifics were inaccurate and misleading, the basic THREAT he was trying to alert people to is all too REAL, and Snopes has just done us all a serious disservice with their misinformation, because it has created even MORE confusion. See below.... this whole thing is a classic example of the trouble I have when well intentioned, but not thoroughly informed people circulate alerts that they haven't run past me first for editorial input and scrutiny: See my responses to Snopes spin in [square brackets] below....]
Status: Multiple see below:
In June 2005 the USA will be forced to accept Codex regulation of vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements: False.
IAHF: [This IS false, but I never said vitamins would be banned in the USA in June of 2005, Wallace Heath said that due to not having all his facts straight, What I have been telling people is that between July 4th and 9th 1995 the 28th General Session of the UN's Codex Alimentarius Commission will be held in Rome, Italy and a highly draconian global trade standard for vitamins and minerals will be ratified at that time unless a last ditch global campaign to stop this criminal agenda succeeds.]
[Unless we succeed in stopping this, the USA would be set up to lose in a future WTO trade dispute as a result of which Congress would be forced via the threat of cross sector sanctioning to harmonize our supplement laws to the Codex standard or huge sanctions could be levied against broad sectors of our economy. At the same time this is happening, huge domestic attacks are occurring against the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, with the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences being joined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative MEdicine in calling for the Repealment of DSHEA.]
[This attack is not happening in a vaccuum, its part of a broader global pattern of pharma attack against the natural supplements industry which I've been documenting since I created IAHF in '96 to catalyse awareness of this complex issue.]
[An example of the WTO forcing our Congress to change a law happened just prior to the recent US Presidential election when the WTO ruled that US Tariffs protecting our steel industry were illegal under international law. We lost in a trade dispute over this, and the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body told Bush that unless Congress scrapped the tariff that they'd begin imposing trade sanctions beginning with Florida Citrus Growers...... (Gee- guess where Bush needed votes?)http://americaneconomicalert.org/view_art.asp?Prod_ID=925 http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/wto/800.html We're up against a mechanized system of international coersion. If we can't protect an industry as important as our STEEL INDUSTRY what makes people think we can protect ANY of our industries including our dietary supplement industry?]
[The fact is, WE CAN'T protect our supplement laws in the USA unless we can kill ratification of the global trade standard for vitamins and minerals which stands to be ratified at the Codex meeting in Rome between July 4-9th 2005 or else get this country out of the WTO. (Last time anyone tried that was Ron Paul in 2000 via House Joint Resolution 90 (see legislative history here http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&db_id=cp106&r_n=hr672.106&sel=TOC_7355& HJRes 90 was slammed.)]
[The fact is that Pharma interests controlling the vitamin trade associations have been effectively pulling the wool over their members eyes on this issue since 1996 when they first began echoing the FDA's spin against IAHF's message, but none of them can explain away anything I'm saying, especially not this statement made by former acting FDA Commissioner Friedman who very CLEARLY stated what FDA's intentions were regarding Codex back in 1997 and his speech before the Senate Labor Committee is right on the FDA's own web site:
On March 17, 1997 acting FDA Commissioner Michael A. Friedman stated the following in a speech before the Senate Labor Committee " FDA plans to amend its regulations and procedures for consideration of standards adopted by Codex. This action is being taken to provide for the systematic review of Codex standards in order to enhance consumer protection, promote international harmonization, and fulfill the United States obligations under international agreements." FDA/CFSAN Federal Register 62 FR 36243 July 7, 1997 http://www.fda.gov/ola/1997/319.html ]
[A draconian Codex vitamin standard was finalized last November, 2004 at the meeting of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses in Bonn, Germany- see this article by Scott Tips, JD, Legal Director of the National Health Federation http://ahha.org/codextips2004.htm and see this link to the website of the Codex Alimentarius Commission which shows their schedule http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/current.jsp?lang=en The FDA is setting the USA up for harmonization to a grossly restrictive international standard. Snopes analysis is grossly simplistic. Too bad]
Bills proposing the regulation of dietary supplements are currently before Congress: Not any more. (Says Snopes)- but look at this:
[S.722 and HR 3377 have not yet been reintroduced, but they will be. I know this from communications with Senator Durbin's office (sponsor last congress of S.722) and Congresswoman Susan Davis' office (HR 3377). Talk with Patricia Zabala in Davis' office. They are in a process now of rewriting these bills, but they'll be back, and we must remain vigilant regarding them. If you'd like to verify what I'm saying, contact Durbin's and Davis's offices via 202-225-3121 (Congressional Switchboard to reach any congressional office) and talk with April Fulton in Durbin's office, and Patricia Zabala in Davis' office. In any case, anyone who understands the Codex issue realizes that the larger threat has always come from offshore via our membership in the WTO and the process of globalization which no one can deny is real. More on this below....]
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]
Your right to choose your vitamin, mineral and other supplements may end in June of this year (2005). After that U.S. supplements will be defined and controlled by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The CODEX ALIMENTARIUS (Food Code) is setting the supplement standards for all countries in the WTO. They will be enforced by the WTO and will over ride U.S. laws. The U.S. President and Congress agreed to this take-over when the WTO Treaty was signed. Violations are punished by WTO trade sanctions.
CODEX drastically restricts vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements. CODEX met secretly in November, 2004 and finalized "Step 8 (the final stage)" to begin implementation in June, 2005.
IAHF: [They did not "meet secretly". That is a slight over dramatization by Wallace Heath in his efforts to condense this issue to just one page, but it is none the less true that there is a gross lack of transparency in the Codex process. I know. I videotaped part of the CCNFSDU meeting in Berlin Germany in '98 but was stopped by the Chair of the meeting and was forced to turn my cam corder off.]
[If I had not, at the very least they would have confiscated my videotape, and if I had gone beyond what I had already done to disrupt the meeting, I would have found myself in a German jail cell on trumped up charges. I digitized a portion of the videotape and it was up on the web for a few years on a tripod site (a free hosting site) but tripod later shut that site down. I still have the footage, but its not in cyberspace at the current time. I was, however, thrown off the US Delegation prior to the meeting in Berlin in 2000 by US Codex Manager Dr.Ed Scarborough at the US Department of Agriculture who is US Codex Manager at the US Codex Office- see details: http://www.iahf.com/codex/20000603.html]
[I was thrown off the US Delegation just prior to the CCNFSDU meeting in Berlin in 2000 due to efforts to be a whistleblower against Yetley- US Delegate to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods For Special Dietary Uses. The German government has permanently banned my participation in Codex meetings even though I am a licensed, credentialled member of the press because of what happened after the '98 meeting when I put my video footage on the web showing them force me to shut my camcorder down. See my additional Comments to Snopes in square brackets below: scroll down:
SNOPES SAID:(Providing Wallace Heath's Widely Forwarded Alert):
The CODE includes:
(1) No supplement can be sold for preventive or therapeutic use.
(2) Any potency higher than RDA (minimal strength) is a "drug" requiring a prescription and must be produced by drug companies. Over 5000 safe items now in health stores will be banned, terminating health stores as we now know them.
(3) CODEX regulations become binding internationally.
(4) New supplements are banned unless given very expensive CODEX testing and approval.
CODEX now applies to Norway and Germany, among others, where zinc tablets rose from $4 per bottle to $52. Echinacea (an ancient immune-enhancement herb) rose from $14 to $153 (both examples are now allowed by prescription only). They are now "drugs". Vitamin C above 200 mg, niacin above 32 mg, vitamin B6 above 4 mg all are banned over-the-counter as drugs. No amino acids (arginine, lysine, carnitine, etc. = essential amino acids!), essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6, 9, etc.), or other essential supplements such as DMEA, DHEA, CoQ10, MSM, beta-carotene, etc. are allowed.
The CODEX rules are not based on real science. They are made by a few people meeting in secret (see web sites below), not necessarily scientists. In 1993 the FDA and drug corporations tried to put all supplements under restriction and prescription. But over 4 million Americans told Congress and the President to protect their freedom of choice on health supplements. The DSHEA Law was passed in 1994, which does so. But this will be over ruled by CODEX and the World Trade Organization.
Virtually nothing about it has been in the media. What the drug corporations have failed to do through Congress they have gotten by sneak attack through CODEX with the help of a silent media. What can be done at this late hour?
(1) Spread the word as much as possible. Inform yourselves fully at http://www.ahha.org, www.iahf.com and www.alliance-natural-health.org.
(2) Oppose bills S. 722 and H.R. 3377. These support the CODEX restrictions with U.S. laws, changing the DSHEA law.
(3) Support H.R. 1146 which would restore the sovereignty of the U.S. Constitution over CODEX, etc.
(4) Express your wishes to the President, Senators and Representatives (They got us into this!) ASAP.
(5) Contact multi-level health marketing groups that can get their members to inform the government.
(6) Send donations, however small, to the British Alliance for Natural Health (see web site above). It has succeeded in challenging the CODEX directives in World Court later this month or next. They need help financially, having carried the fight effectively for everyone. CODEX and the FDA wish to protect us by controlling supplements in the same way they do prescription drugs.
A study of the latter by three medical scientists was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, April 15, 1998 Vol. 279, No. 15, p. 1200 "Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR's) was found to be extremely high." Covering 30 years (1966 to 1996) it was found that in the U.S. an average of 106,000 hospitalized patients per year (290 per day) die from ADR's and 2,200,000 need more hospitalization for recovery.
These were FDA approved drugs, properly administered by competent professionals in hospitals none were considered malpractice. This is the number four cause of death in the U.S. When combined, these account for 7% of all hospitalized patients. This is equivalent to a 9-11 attack every ten days.
There are very few fatalities from supplements or the news would be on every front page. There is no need for more FDA control of supplements than is already in place, which is substantial. Instead of drastically restricting supplements, why doesn't the FDA better control and restrict the extremely dangerous pharmaceutical drugs which are now killing us at the rate of a major airline crash per day?
Wallace G. Heath, Ph.D.
1145 Marine Drive Bellingham, WA 98225
SNOPES GOES ON TO COMMENT:
Origins: This e-mailed alert began circulating on the Internet in January 2005. Although the call to arms is worded in such a way as to convince those who receive that their right to purchase vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements in the U.S. is about to be lost to them unless they act decisively in defense of it, it is outdated and the facts of what is being considered by American lawmakers and why are radically dissimilar from the red cape being waved.
[Not true. The first Codex alert ever circulated was my article in Life Extension Magazine in 1996. I was first educated on the issue by an American named Ron Birckhead who had moved to Norway where he was running a vitamin distribution company. His business was great til Norway began harmonizing their laws to a mindlessly restrictive World Health Organization guideline that is being paralleled today by what is coming out of Codex. Norway was a New World Order test country to see how they could foist these regulations off on people, and what they've learned there they're now attempting to implement globally via Codex and the WTO. In '96 I was an observer on the US Delegation to the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses, and again in '98 where I observed Dr.Beth Yetley of the US FDA violate US law in a naked effort to set us up for harmonization to an international Codex standard.]
First of all, this is another case of an issue that is now largely moot due to outdated information. Back in 2003, two versions of a bill that proposed the regulation of dietary supplements (S. 722, the "Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003," and H.R. 3377, the "Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act") were introduced to Congress. Neither of these bills was ever voted upon, much less passed. They both expired with the end of the 108th Congress in 2004 and have not been reintroduced to the currently sitting 109th Congress.
[Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes never bothered to communicate with either Durbin or Davis offices (sponsors of S.722, and HR 3377) before making this mindless statement. She appears to be ignorant of the fact that whenever a new congress begins, it takes a while for old legislation to be reintroduced, often under new bill numbers.]
[If she had taken the trouble (as I have) to call Durbin and Davis's offices, she'd have learned that both members of Congress are currently re-writing these bills with the FULL INTENTION of reintroducing them under new numbers. When they ARE reintroduced, we will not be able to take either one lightly. Both dovetail with a recent 300 page report issued by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences which is openly calling for the REPEALMENT of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. The American Herbal Products Assn has issued a recent press release about the IOM report calling it inaccurate- and you can see what they have to say about it here: http://www.npicenter.com/anm/templates/newsATemp.aspx?articleid=11446&zoneid=2 ]
[Not only is the National Academy of Sciences calling for the repealment of DSHEA, but their call for repealment is being ECHOED by the Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). As a former member of the ad hoc advisory board that created the Office of Alternative Medicine from which NCCAM was spawned, it frustrates me greatly the way pharma was able to get control of the entity which I helped create and to turn it against us, but that is what has happened, and its due to that that former Congressman Berkley Bedell (who was one of the prime movers behind creation of the Office of Alternative Medicine at NIH was forced to form his own private foundation, The National Foundation For Alternative Medicine http://www.nfam.org/ See additional responses to Snopes inane drivel below in blue, following their bad information....]
Moreover, neither of these items of potential legislation was forced on the U.S. by an outside regulatory body, nor did they say anything about restricting the American public's access to vitamins and minerals. Their sole target was dietary supplements, a class of products that has been unregulated since 1994, when Congress passed legislation that exempted them from federal regulation. Claims that your right to take vitamins and minerals is about to be impaired or that you will require doctors' prescriptions to obtain such products should be regarded as attempts at rabble-rousing, deliberate moves to spur you into action against one thing by convincing you that something very different and far closer to your heart is at stake.
Vitamins and minerals are not under the gun. Dietary supplements are. And no outside regulatory body is behind this move: the proposed legislation is the work of American lawmakers looking to safeguard the public from the unscrupulous and the hazardous. If you take nothing else from this article, take the preceding three sentences.
IAHF: [Where should I BEGIN with these two outrageous statements? First of all, it is NOT TRUE that dietary supplements are "unregulated". Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes has clearly bought the PARTY LINE of people who seek to REPEAL the Dietary supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. As a professional lobbyist, I have been defending consumer access to dietary supplements since 1989, but my encyclopedic knowledge of the legislative history as pertains to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act goes back to the early 1900s- and I can cite chapter and verse when it comes to the regulation of dietary supplements not only in America, but globally since I'm now an International Lobbyist.]
[In 1976 the Proxmire Vitamin Act was passed in the face of a mindless FDA rulemaking effort which threatened to curtail consumer access to high potency vitamins, but the FDA attacked us again in 1989 when they got the Nutrition Labelling and Education Act fast tracked through the House of Representatives. It was on its way to the Senate like a guided missile aimed straight for the heart of the supplement industry when many of us jumped in with both feet and we were able to curb some of its worst excesses, but they were STILL in position to SEVERELY IMPEDE consumer access to dietary supplements which forced us to scramble and to pass the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 to protect our access.]
[Far from tying the FDA's hands, DSHEA actually gave the FDA many enforcement powers over dietary supplements that they did not previously have. For example, DSHEA gave the FDA the right to generate new Good Manufacturing Practice regulations to govern the manufacturing of dietary supplements, and FDA will be coming out with those new regulations within the coming year. FDA will no doubt violate the law with the new GMP regs they're about to come out with, and that will force small vitamin companies especially to file lawsuits against them, but anyone saying that dietary supplements are presently "unregulated" in this country is not telling you the truth because the fact is they are OVER REGULATED.]
[Despite their presence on store shelves, not all dietary supplements are safe for consumers to use, let alone are beneficial to their health. Products can be 100% natural yet deliver a deadly payload, as have some in the past. Lacking regulation of such ingestibles, there is no protection afforded consumers, and authoritative-looking labels are no guarantee that what is being vended in those bottles they envelope is not harmful. Under current law, dangerous supplements get onto the market and stay there, with serious physical harm resulting among those who use them, as was the case with ephedra, which caused strokes, heart attacks, and upwards of 150 deaths before the Food and Drug Administration was finally able to get it out of the stores.]
[These statements are outrageous and aren't backed up by any solid evidence. See this accurate assessment of the supposed "risks" posed by ingestion of dietary supplements graphically compared in a table with the risk of ingesting prescription drugs, the risk of dying from a bee sting, the risk of being hit by lightening, the risk of dying from ingestion of food in common form, etc http://www.laleva.cc/supplements/medical_injury_law.pdf In the early 90s the FDA went on a witch hunt against the safe amino acid l-tryptophan.]
[A contaminated batch manufactured by Showa Denko in Japan contained a contaminant which the Centers for Disease Control later identified as "Peake E", but FDA ignored the fact that this contaminant had been identified and rather than just ban l-tryptophan coming from Showa Denko til the company rectified the problem that had caused the contaminated batch, the FDA banned ALL l-tryptophan while seeking to try to DEMONIZE the entire supplement industry thru the slick use of spin against this totally safe substance which is contained in bananas and milk.]
[The real reason FDA attacked l-tryptophan was that at that time Eli Lilly introduced Prozac to the market and FDA fraudulently approved it even though its a very dangerous drug. Prozac acts on the reuptake mechanism for serotonin in unpredictable ways, causing some people to commit suicide, others to commit homicide, and it is nowhere NEAR as safe to use as l-tryptophan is (which is a NATURAL serotonin precursor.)]
[A person using l-tryptophan will only manufacture as much serotonin as their body needs and can handle, but Prozac is different- its much less safe, yet FDA demonized it and got it banned, while protecting the business interests of Eli Lilly by blocking this natural, unpatentable substance from interfering with the sale of Prozac, a patented prescription drug.]
[The FDA attack on Ephedra was similarly motivated. See this review of ephedra by the American Botanical Council http://www.supplementquality.com/news/ABC_ephedra_monograph.html Ephedra is a safe substance, certainly far safer than Ephedrine is which is found in a slew of OTC cold preparations. Any honest examination of data gathered by the National Association of Poison Control Centers will indicate that there is a very SERIOUS problem with deaths caused by Ephedrine, but there have been very FEW problems caused by Ephedra. The attack on Ephedra was nothing more than the latest witch hunt against the supplement industry.]
[The FDA has a limited budget, and they are squandering precious resources, committing a disproportionate amount of their budget to attack largely SAFE dietary supplements while they FRAUDULENTLY APPROVE a slew of toxic, ineffective pharmaceutical drugs such as VIOXX and many others that have been in the news lately. FDA acts like a trade association for the drug companies because there is a revolving door between their employees and these drugs companies such that a "good ol' boy network" is very much in place between them. Additional response to Snopes inane drivel follows below....]
In 2004, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, almost one in five Americans (19%) reported using a supplement, which means the pool of folks at risk is great. Yet the incentives are there for the dietary supplement industry to keep on doing what it has been doing: in 2002, it reported $18.7 billion in sales. With so much profit at stake, there is little desire on the part of manufacturers to police themselves or their products all that carefully.
IAHF: [This sort of spin is outrageous. This table shows the relative risk of ingesting dietary supplements compared with using prescription drugs, getting hit by lightening, and numerous other objectively measured risks http://www.laleva.cc/supplements/medical_injury_law.pdf ]
[As you can see from these statistics, the risk of injury from consuming foods in common form is FAR greater than the risk of consuming dietary supplements, but we don't see FDA engaging in a witch hunt against foods in common form. (Gee, I WONDER why? ha ha) So WHAT if supplement sales totalled $18.7 billion in sales in 2002?]
[Thats just a drop in the BUCKET compared with PHARMACEUTICAL SALES, and statements like this are merely an indicator of how scared the drug companies are as they see consumers fleeing from their midst in droves as more and more people turn to using supplements as they take charge of their own health and STAY CLEAR of hospitals and doctors completely. The vast majority of supplement companies are very responsible when it comes to following good manufacturing standards, and the assertion that these products are putting large numbers of people at risk is outrageous and unsubstantiated.]
[NCCAM has been hijacked by the pharma elements that control NIH such that its original purpose as envisioned by Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Berkley Bedell has been subverted, which forced Bedell to create his own private Foundation http://www.nfam.org to do the work which the Office of Alternative Medicine (later NCCAM) was supposed to do, but now ISN'T DOING. Additional response to Snopes inane drivel follows below....]
It's not just about inherently dangerous substances being sold to the unwary as the latest miracle answer for what ails them even when dietary supplements contain nothing obviously harmful, the current lack of regulation results in improperly manufactured or contaminated products reaching the public. Quality control is missing.
IAHF: [More disinformation. The fact is that the FDA has had the power under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act since 1994 to draft new Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations for dietary supplements but they have dragged their feet in doing so because they like being able to make this sort of unfounded accusation, and if they come out with new GMP regs, this finger could no longer be pointed.]
[In any case, most manufacturers already DO follow very rigourous GMP protocols and FDA does inspect manufacturing facilities on a regular basis and they have the power RIGHT NOW to shut down any manufacturing plant that is not doing what must be done to safeguard consumers. I am a consultant to many dietary supplement companies that have had FDA inspections of their manufacturing facilities since passage of DSHEA in '94. Right on FDA's own website you will find reports of successful FDA legal action against misbranded products proving FDA's hands aren't tied as Durbin, Davis AND SNOPES would have you believe. http://www.fda.gov Additional response to Snopes inane drive follows below...]
Absent regulation, consumers have little reason to trust they are getting the dosage they believe they are taking. ConsumerLab.com, an independent laboratory that tests dietary supplements, found that some name-brand products contain only small quantities of the active ingredient on their label. "Some have none, some have 80 percent, some have 20 percent," Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of the lab, told ABC News. Also, some contaminated supplements reach the market and thus fall into the hands of unknowing consumers. In December 2004, pesticide was found in ginseng being vended on the East Coast, and heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic were discovered in herbal supplements.
IAHF: [ConsumerLab would have you believe that they are doing their own independent laboratory analysis, but they are not. They are sending samples off to outside labs, many of which are caught in conflicts of interest, such that their results are suspect- and their whole way of doing things INSURES a gross lack of objectivity, here is why:]
[Consumer Lab has highly unethical business practices: they won't publish negative findings of companies that pay them to keep them from publishing the lab results, only of companies that don't, so this calls into question the objectivity of the labs that test products Consumer Labs wants tested. Their credability would be a lot higher if they published ALL lab results of ALL companies whose products they test, transparently list which labs they use to do this testing (since they don't reveal that at all, and that makes it impossible to assess any possible conflicts of interest. Many testing labs have strong pharma ties and FDA often farms work out to private labs which know what side their bread is buttered on.)]
Two bills put before Congress in 2003 looked to regulate dietary nostrums by imposing quality and safety standards on them, and giving the FDA the ability to take them off the market before a great number of folks have been harmed by them. In March 2003, Senator Richard Durbin introduced bill S. 722, the "Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2003" in the U.S. Senate.
The purpose of this legislation was to "protect consumers from dangerous dietary supplements such as ephedra and other stimulants by requiring manufacturers to submit proof that their product is safe prior to bringing it to market." The bill would require manufacturers of the most dangerous types of dietary supplements (stimulants) to submit proof of their products' safety prior to bringing them to market.
The bill also expands the FDA's authority to require from any dietary supplement maker proof of its product's safety if that agency has received information suggesting the product is causing death or other serious adverse health effects. It would also require manufacturers to report serious adverse health events (e.g.; heart attack, seizure, stroke, death), to the FDA no later than 15 calendar days after they learn of them. The bill also looks to close a loophole in current law that, according to Senator Durbin, "has been exploited by many dietary supplement manufacturers, allowing anabolic steroids to be sold widely as dietary supplements" by clarifying that anabolic steroids are not dietary supplements and are subject to regulation that restricts their availability under the Controlled Substances Act.
[This is the spin Durbin has used to try to push S.722, and the reason he got nowhere with his efforts to push the bill in the last congress are that there is no NEED for this legislation and it flies totally in the face of the will of the people and the will of congress as expressed via passage of DSHEA in 1994 which it seeks to repeal. There are no dangerous dietary supplements, only dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. Durbin is a Senator from Illinois where AMA Headquarters is.]
[He is doing the bidding of the AMA and the major drug companies which want S.722 to be passed in order to be able to put the burden of proof on supplement manufacturers to proove the efficacy of unpatentable products where there is no incentive for manufacturers to spend the sums of money which drug manufacturers have to spend to get their toxic substances through FDA's approval process. The drug companies don't like the competition provided by supplements so they're pushing for a level playing field that is not warranted on a basis of safety as they claim.]
In October 2003, Representatives Susan Davis (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (DMI) introduced bill H.R. 3377, the "Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act" in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation would increase the FDA's authority over dietary supplements, enabling that agency to monitor the health risks of dietary supplements and take appropriate action if problems develop. The proposed law was not intended to have any impact on the regulation of vitamins and minerals, which are specifically excluded from the bill. In addition, for dietary supplements that contain herbs, amino acids, and other botanicals, the bill will ensure that FDA has basic information about who makes them and the products' ingredients. It would also require dietary supplement manufacturers to provide FDA with information about all adverse events, so that the agency could spot warning signs and investigate if necessary. It further allows the FDA to prohibit sales to minors of supplements that may cause significant harm to children. Finally, it allows the FDA to demand safety information from a manufacturer if the FDA has evidence that a particular supplement may pose serious risks.
[More spin. S.722 and HR 3377 constitute an effort to bury supplement manufacturers in totally superfluous and unecessary red tape. Dietary Supplements aren't injuring and killing people, pharmaceutical drugs are and in very large numbers. These bills are being pushed by pharma which doesn't want people being healthy because it interferes with their "business with disease". FDA has all the power they need right now to regulate dietary supplements. The people of America spoke in '94 when we passed DSHEA in the direct face of an FDA rulemaking effort that would have crushed consumer access to supplements, and now pharma is trying to once again subvert the will of the people and the will of Congress. They're coming at us domestically, and via maneuvering offshore at CODEX. Currently, the Codex threat is far greater than any domestic threat, especially since S.722 and HR 3377 have yet to be reintroduced. When they are reintroduced, they still won't move for the same reasons they didn't move in the last congress. Codex still remains the far greater threat. See ADDITIONAL RESPONSES to Snopes Inane Drive Below:]
Getting back to the e-mail's claim that a foreign regulatory body is behind all this, we address the claim that:
Your right to choose your vitamin, mineral and other supplements may end in June of this year (2005). After that U.S. supplements will be defined and controlled by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1962 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.
It is the body of government representatives and non-governmental organizations charged by the United Nations with establishing international guidelines on food law. This commission is empowered to set standards of operation for the health industry and is working to control such things as the sale of dietary supplements for preventative or therapeutic reasons and the potency of natural remedies. It also seeks to convert definitions of many supplements to drugs and to make its rules binding on every U.N. member nation.
However, what it seeks and what it can do are very different things. It has no power to force its will on any nation. Codex standards are voluntary, which means if the U.S. doesn't adopt them, they will not govern the regulation of vitamins, minerals, or dietary supplements in the USA.
[Bull. The USA has agreed to enter into a constant process of harmonization via membership in the WTO. We signed the SPS and TBT Agreements which are subsections of GATT. Codex standards and guidelines WERE VOLUNTARY up until the Uruguay Round of GATT which created the WTO which has ENFORCEMENT POWER via a new international court that doesn't follow our rules of evidence- the Dispute Settlement Body. ]
[Every ruling this entity has made has gone against the environment, against the public health, against human rights, against labor rights, against every intangible that goes into the make up of any democratic nations laws. This is why there was a huge demonstration in Seattle in '99 and why there have been other huge demonstrations against the WTO in other countries. The FTAA is an effort to create a carbon copy of the EU dictatorship in our hemisphere to harmonize all the laws between the Artic Circle and Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) See http://www.citizen.org/trade/index.cfm see http://www.stoptheftaa.com see article Do Three Interlocking Events in November Signal the End of Health Freedom? http://www.thelawloft.com/Freedom/THREE_INTERLOCKING_EVENTS.mht See Additional Response to Snopes Inane Drivel Below:]
In November 2004, the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) reached agreement on the definitions and regulatory guidelines for the worldwide use of vitamins and minerals in food supplements and will present its "Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements" to the Codex annual meeting in Rome in July 2005 for formal approval. Once approved, countries are expected to consider these new guidelines in developing or modifying their national food laws.
The Codex guidelines form a key reference point in case of international trade disputes in the area of food supplements. That, in a nutshell, is the extent of its teeth.
The e-mailed exhortation to rise up against Codex claims that commission's guidelines regarding dietary supplements "will over ride U.S. law." That's just plain wrong.
United States law governs trade within the United States. Codex standards come into play only when American manufacturers of dietary supplements look to vend them on the international market, and even then only when the other nations involved have incorporated Codex guidelines into their food laws.
Claims that in various European countries vitamins are now selling for a horrendous amount or are available only by prescription are strawmen, because the U.S. (as does every other nation) makes its own laws, and the new laws it is proposing in S. 722 and H.R. 3377 specifically and deliberately omit mention of vitamins or minerals, both of which are already adequately regulated.
Barbara "vitaminimized" Mikkelson
[Barbara Mikkelson is clueless. Numerous WTO rulings have gone against US law, forcing Congress to change our law under threat of cross sector trade sanctions against broad sectors of our economy. See the example cited previously about what happened to our Steel Tarrifs just before the last US Election. The US lost a trade dispute.
The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body ruled that our Steel Tarrifs were illegal. Just before the last election WTO told Bush they'd begin imposing cross sector sanctions unless he got Congress to change our law by removing the tarrif. They DID remove the tarrif, because no nation can withstand this sort of economic coersion.
The WTO has put the mechanisms in place to override ANY national law that interferes with multinational corporate profits, and THAT is why Congressman Ron Paul tried to REMOVE us from the WTO in 2000 via House Joint Resolution 90 (cited above). For similar reasons he's been trying to remove us from the UN which the Codex Commission is part of. HR 1146 The American Sovereignty Restoration Act would do that. It will be reintroduced, but like efforts to remove us from the WTO has little chance of going anywhere given our Congress of Whores.
It is due to these concerns that IAHF, ANH and allied health freedom organizations world wide have been calling attention to the Codex International Threat to Health Freedom, a very REAL threat which is hardly a "hoax."Read this article Do Three Interlocking Events in November Signal the End of Health Freedom? http://www.thelawloft.com/Freedom/THREE_INTERLOCKING_EVENTS.mht
Examine this information on the website of the American Holistic Health Association's website http://ahha.org/codex.htm
Read this information on Gary Null's website: http://www.garynull.com/Article.aspx?article=Issues/Index.aspx&Head=Issues
Read this alert from the Alliance for Natural Health (UK) to the US Supplement Industry: http://www.alliance-natural-health.org/_docs/ANHwebsiteDoc_129.doc
Watch the DVD of the Emergency Health Freedom Meeting held at ACAM in San Diego on November 18th, 2004 http://www.glycommunity.com/iahf Grasp that this Emergency Meeting was emceed by Jonathan V. Wright, MD a Harvard Graduate, and Director of the world famous Tahoma Clinic near Seattle WA.
Wright is an icon in the health freedom movement. FDA did a Gestapo like raid on his clinic in '92 which he survived, and in the process became a cause celebre. He was on Larry King Live and helped catalyze the movement to pass DSHEA which he realizes we are now attempting to defend on the world stage in the face of Codex. He published an article about the Codex threat last September.
He wouldn't be staking his reputation on his concern about this if it were a "non issue." Dr.Rob Verkerk, exec dir of the UK based Alliance for Natural Health would not have flown to California from England to speak at our meeting if it were a "non issue", and I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of organizing this meeting if it were a "non issue."
Aside from poorly informed pro pharma spin doctors such as Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes who obviously didn't take the time to do a thorough research job, people are being led to the cliff on this issue by the pharma dominated vitamin trade associations including IADSA- exposed here http://www.iahf.com/iadsa/index.html , CRN and NNFA.
CRN's membership is riddled with pharma interests including Wyeth, BASF, Bayer, Monsanto, Cargill and many others http://www.crnusa.org/who_omc.html This is a gross conflict of interest. NNFA members are being advised on Codex by NNFA's legal counsel: Sidley, Austin, Brown and Wood LLP. This multinational law firm has 1500 attorneys and offices on 3 continents- and they have a slew of pharma clients- it is a gross conflict of interest that NNFA has retained them: http://www.sidley.com/practice/group.asp?groupid=25
WHAT CAN WE DO?:
What can be done to STOP the Codex threat? We outlined that in our Emergency Health Freedom Mtg in San Diego at ACAM in November and you can watch it here http://www.glycommunity.com/iahf A core group of us are refining our battle plan and are reaching out to a rapidly awakening industry which is reading articles such as this one of mine http://www.lef.org/featured-articles/emergency_update_020705.htm and they're getting behind our plan.
Consumers wanting to help can sign on to the IAHF email distribution list at http://www.iahf.com and can help get copies of our DVD "Push Back from Codex Cliff" http://www.glycommunity.com/iahf out to health food stores and vitamin companies. We need donations for ongoing public speaking on this issue, and we hope to launch a lawsuit against the FDA to get an injunction to block ratification of the Codex vitamin standard, as well as donations for a global PR campaign against ratification and against the WTO.
So much for the Codex vitamin issue being an "urban legend". It is not. We're up against a deliberately incremental agenda that has been moving with intentional slowness so as to not arouse a public backlash, but that sure doesn't make it any less real. Please forward this massively.Urge everyone you know to sign on to the IAHF email distribution list at http://www.iahf.com Please contribute to help me get to Expo West in a month in California and to do additional public speaking as the fuse burns closer to the bomb.