The Vitamin Police Are Suiting Up

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Codex Alimentarius Commission, an offshoot of the United Nations,
is working to “harmonize” food and supplement rules between all
nations of the world. Under Codex rules, even basic vitamins and
minerals will require a doctor’s prescription. As Europe moves
ever closer to adopting Codex standards, it becomes more likely
that the World Trade Organization will attempt to force those
standards on the United States. This is yet another example of
how the WTO threatens American sovereignty.

~ Congressman Ron Paul

The United Nations has longed for international sovereignty over
member nations ever since its inception in 1945. Now it is beginning
to achieve this indirectly through the World Trade Organization
(WTO), which possesses the authority to impose negative sanctions
on its members. The United States is a member.

WTO will soon be acting on behalf of the United Nations’ World Health
Organization (WHO) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO). These two UN organizations have jointly run the Codex
Alimentarius Commission
for over four decades. Codex alimentarius
is Latin for “food rules.”

Commission is about to hand down comprehensive new standards for
vitamins and food supplements. It has posted its agenda on-line
for its meeting on July 4—9. There will be a session: Codex
Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses.

U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Codex Alimentarius subdivision,
which has a Web site dedicated to this topic. Here, we learn that there will
be a public meeting, held on the day that the international meeting
concludes: July 9. It is unlikely that this meeting will be able to report
much on the international meeting. It is possible that the new standards
will be issued on July 9 or shortly thereafter.

The international meeting is shrouded in silence, if not deliberate
secrecy. There is nothing on these official sites that reveals what
is about to be unveiled. The paranoia of the Director of the Codex
Commission is obvious. On the home page of the site, which reveals
almost nothing, we read:

The Secretariat of the Codex Alimentarius Commission declines
all responsibility for errors or deficiencies in the documentation
provided from this website, for maintenance and upgrading of the
website as well as for any damage that may arise from them. The
Secretariat of the Codex Alimentarius Commission also declines
any responsibility for updating the data and assumes no responsibility
for errors and omissions in the data provided. Users are, however,
kindly asked to report any errors or deficiencies of the web site
to the Secretariat of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

have never seen a disclaimer this comprehensive on any website.
These words stand out: “deficiencies in the documentation provided
from this website.”

Food and Agriculture Organization is a little more open about what
is coming. We read on its website:

Codex activities of the future will differ considerably from what
they have been until now. Scientific developments in fields relating
to food, changing attitudes of consumers, new approaches to food
control, changing perceptions of government and food industry
responsibilities and changing food quality and safety concepts
will present the Commission with new challenges and, conceivably,
the need for new standards.

this same page, we are referred to another page:*/esn/codex.
I went to this page. I was informed: “The Web server cannot find
the file you asked for ‘*/esn/codex‘.
The likely cause is a recent re-structuring of some parts of the
FAO Internet site. Please go to the WAICENT Information Finder where
you will find convenient tools to help you to locate the desired

went to WAICENT. There was a search box. I searched for Codex
Alimentarius nutrition. I got a page full of links. I clicked
every link. Not one of them worked.

are the experts who are about to makes us safe from excessive vitamins.
They have figured out what we must not be allowed to ingest, but
they cannot figure out how to hire someone who can run a website.


get a better picture of what is involved from the British government’s
website on the Codex. Here, we read:

European Commission has been negotiating community membership
of Codex for some years, and this has now been achieved. The basis
in Community law was established and the necessary rule changes
in Codex have been made. The Commission wrote to the Director-General
of the UN/FAO in November 2003 to formally complete the accession
process. This means that the European Commission has relinquished
its observer status in Codex and now represents all EU countries
on matters of EU competence.

way of the European Commission, which possesses political sovereignty,
trade policy by the WTO will be extend the Codex’s standards to
all WTO member nations. This of course assumes that the WTO will
establish some compromise of the various member nations’ versions
of the Codex.

point is, up until now, implementation by national governments has
been voluntary. National governments did not have to accept the
Codex. But now, through the WTO, all of it can be forced on member
nations if the WTO accepts the Codex.

illusion of voluntarism has been maintained for a decade. This was
easy to do. Until the creation of the WTO, the Codex was voluntary.
The United Nations rarely exercises its sovereignty except in cases
of war. But the kid gloves can now come off at any time. To understand
this, consider the careful commentary of Paul Anthony Taylor. (The
documentation is on the site.)

it may be technically true for the WTO to say that “there is no
legal obligation on Members to apply Codex standards, guidelines
and recommendations," the reality is that Codex texts are used
by the WTO as a means of resolving international trade disputes,
and WTO Members are legally obliged to abide by WTO rulings. Once
the Codex Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements
are completed therefore, all it would take to begin enacting them
globally would be for one of the participating countries to launch,
and win, an international trade dispute. The global adjudicators
in such an instance would be the WTO Dispute Settlement Body,
some of the hearings for which take the form of closed meetings
held in private. Appeals to Dispute Settlement Body rulings are
possible, but they have to be based on points of law such as legal
interpretation — they cannot re-examine existing evidence or
examine new issues.

there are three levels of acceptance for Codex texts, namely;
`full acceptance'; `acceptance with specified deviations'; and
`free distribution’ (which means that the country concerned undertakes
that products conforming with a Codex Standard may be distributed
freely within its territorial jurisdiction, while domestically
produced products sold within its own borders remain unaffected).
The `free distribution’ option has led many people to mistakenly
believe that Codex does not have the authority to impose anything
on a country in terms of domestically produced products sold into
its own internal market. However, because Codex standards are
used by the WTO to resolve international trade disputes, WTO members
can literally have Codex Guidelines and Standards forced upon
them, irrespective of acceptance.

Laibow, M.D., claims to have read 15,000 pages of proposed standards
issued by Codex. In
a posting on April 27, 2005
, Dr. Laibow reinforced Taylor’s

logic says, “CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is a set of standards only for
international trade, not a law and not a treaty." That is true
as far as it goes. However, once accepted, its standards can be
enforced both domestically and internationally. At the international
levels, a complaining country can take another nation into the
“Dispute Resolution” process of the WTO. If the complaining country
prevails, CODEX standard are then enforced in the loosing country
through trade sanctions, chosen by the affronted country, and
imposed by the WTO, of which we are treaty members.

there is another layer to the web of control which CODEX throws
over every nation in the WTO: as part of our treaty obligation
to the WTO we have signed the Sanitary and Phytosanitary agreement
or SPSA. Clause 3 of that document makes it clear that we are
bound by it to bring our domestic standards into compliance with
the standards of CODEX
. We are bound by the standards and
regulations of CODEX under the WTO Treaty and by Article VI, Clause
2 of the US Constitution which says that treaty law supersedes
domestic law and by a consequence of that treaty, the SPSA.


to Dr. Laibow, a deadline is looming for the EU: August 1.

the Alliance for Natural Health wins a binding judgment in June,
2005 which upholds the recent non-binding opinion by the Advocate
General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), supplements may
not disappear from shelves in the EU on August 1, 2005. Since
the Advocate General’s opinion states that he has no problem with
the existence of the standards, EFSD [European Food Supplements
Directive] standards using more science will go into effect in
Europe. Under this scenario, the EFSD would go back to the drawing
board and come up with new standards which it will again promulgate
and enforce. But if those standards are rewritten by August 1,
2005 (which they well could be), there will be mass extinction
of supplements on that date in Europe. The die off rate would
not be quite as high, perhaps, but die off of natural supplements
will occur since the EFSD is determined to make them illegal in
the EU and has been empowered by EU law to do so. But if the ECJ’s
binding decision goes against ANH in June, 75% of the supplements
available in Europe will disappear permanently on August 1, 2005.

possibility is relevant for citizens of the United States. If Europeans
who want to buy food supplements begin ordering them from retail
sellers in the United States, it is almost guaranteed that there
will be a formal complaint to the WTO brought by a European nation
against the United States. That is when the rubber will meet the


over four decades, the Codex Alimentarius has seemed to be entirely
voluntary for member nations to impose. This will not be the case
for much longer.

recent political set-back of the European Union in France and Holland
may have sent a message to the Codex Commission. If the Codex Commission
issues comprehensive new standards in July, this could add fuel
to the anti-Constitution fire. This outcome was not perceived to
be a threat when the Commission scheduled its meeting. But the trend
is clear, whatever the timetable may now be.

legal right to buy vitamins and food supplements is seen as a threat
by Eurocrats, and the FDA has had to be reigned in repeatedly by
Congress to get the bureaucrats to back off. The bureaucrats know
that if it were ever to come to a vote, voters in most nations will
affirm their right to be left alone when it comes to vitamins. The
war has therefore moved from politics to bureaucratic agreements.
The war is about to escalate.

9, 2005

North [send him mail] is the
author of Mises
on Money
. Visit
He is also the author of a free multi-volume series, An
Economic Commentary on the Bible

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