Archive for July, 2009

Is the Threat of Codex Alimentarius Real or a Hoax?

www.mypicshares.com

Are you interested in protecting the future of your health freedoms and ability to obtain healthy food for your family? Frequently in the news we hear reports about the NAIS (National Animal Identification System), genetically-modified organisms, and many other food-related issues. Do not doubt it: the future of our ability to procure real, healthy food is definitely at stake.

There is another threat which may yet overshadow all of these other activities. The organization known as Codex Alimentarius (parented by the World Health Organization) was created in 1963 and was intended to be a Trade Commission by the United Nations to monitor and control the trade of  food on an international scale. Yet there have been outcries from individuals, groups, and organizations about the authority given by Codex to regulate the manufacturing, production, and sale of food and food products around the globe. Are these inquisitions valid, or just conspiracy theory – or is there something even bigger at work?

What is the organization’s purpose?

Although originally its intent was to provide regulatory safety standards of the sale and production of  food, ensure fair trade practices, and defend the rights of consumer health,  it has gradually been overtaken by big corporate and political interests.

This  organization favors agribusiness and big business giants such as pharmaceutical, biotechology, chemical, industrial, and pesticide companies. All of these corporations sell toxic products which also happen to be the most heavily-subsidized commodities in the world, and are protected by massive lobbyist activity in the political realm.

It appears that one of the main purposes of Codex is to impose limitations on the distribution of nutrients to consumers in food and supplements.  In 1994, a man by the name of Dr. Rolf Grossklaus designated nutrients as toxic. The way to assess nutrients was accomplished via toxicology (Risk Assessment, as opposed to using scientific inquiry and biochemistry) to prevent over-exposure to nutrients by humans taking dietary supplements.

According to Natural News:

“In the US, consumers and natural healthcare practitioners make heavy use of supplements to prevent, treat and cure the chronic diseases of under-nutrition. Chronic degenerative diseases (i.e., cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and stroke, etc.) are well known to develop from nutrient restrictions or shortages like those imposed by the ultra low nutrient levels resulting from Risk Assessment techniques. These degenerative diseases can often be prevented, and well treated by, nutritional medicine. Nutritional preventive and clinical strategies will be illegal under both the EFSD (European Food Supplement Directive, described as “the future face of CODEX”) and the toxicology-based CODEX Vitamin and Mineral Guideline.”

The implementation of Codex regulatory laws could also, at the very least, impose limitations upon the manufacturing and purchase of vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements. If Codex regulatory standards are put into place, our basic freedom to choose as treatment and prevention for our health will be in jeopardy – supplementation, traditional remedies, clean food (such as organic and naturally-grown or raised food), and natural treatment.

It is in the interests of big corporations like pharmaceutical companies and industrial food producers to make virtually all of our natural health choices illegal because it poses a threat to their livelihood – the manufacturing and selling of products which are in direct opposition to natural foods, dietary supplements, and treatments. The bottom line is, the more people begin to turn to natural supplementation and real food for their health, the less profit industrial food companies and the pharmaceutical industry will make.

Who else is behind the curtain?

Although Codex has issued  various forms of documentation detailing how foods and additives are to be regulated, the organization responsible for imposing these regulations is the European Directive. The following is an excerpt from The Alliance for Natural Health web site:

“In many ways, it is more correct to see Codex (with respect to its limited application to natural health issues) as the primary mechanism that allows restrictive European laws to be exported into Codex.  From there it then forms an international guideline for the rest of the world.  It’s important then to appreciate that these guidelines cannot directly limit the availability of products—it’s only when they are then implemented into national or regional laws that restrictions occur.

Codex member countries, of which there are over 170, are strongly encouraged to adopt Codex guidelines and standards, not just on natural health issues but across all other parts of the food chain, into their national or regional laws.  And to understand more about the consequences of not implementing Codex guidelines and standards, please see both the ANH’s Codex campaign and its Say No to GM campaign.  Here you’ll find examples of how the World Trade Organization imposes trade sanctions, that have the capacity to cripple any country other than a super power.”

So, it is the European Food Safety Authority and European Directive which has the real ability and power to use mechanisms like Codex to enforce authority over how we purchase and consume food.

Codex documentation

As a testament to the purpose of Codex, this organization has an entire published document devoted to the subject of food additives, their uses, acceptable daily intake, and maximum usage level. The document details the “justification” for the usage of food additives and acceptable maximum levels of food additives. Finally the document compiles an exhaustive list of any type of food available on the market including all chemicals and additives in those foods and the maximum levels allowed for each.

Codex also has various other documents (available online), including one devoted to the subject of organically-produced foods. This document includes information about definitions of organically-produced foods and the standards by which these foods are produced and sold.  If it seems disconcerting that a powerful organization such as this has produced a document about organic foods and how they are to be produced and sold, there is a reason.  The efforts of this organization are primarily supported by big agricultural and pharmaceutical interests, and therefore should automatically be suspect in its intent toward the quality and future of real, organically-produced food.

Other relevant subjects for which Codex has produced literature is Foods Derived from Modern Biotechnology. This document discloses standards and regulations by which manufacturers and producers are allowed to sell foods created through genetically-modified activities, foods derived  from recumbinant-DNA plants and the application of “risk assessment” to determine the presence of hazards or nutritional safety risk. This “risk assessment” is the same tool Codex uses to determine the “toxicity” of nutrients found in foods.

DSHEA and what it does to protect consumers

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 – the dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before going on the market. The FDA is responsible to take action against any company which produces unsafe dietary supplement products after it reaches the market. Currently, manufacturers are not required to register products with FDA nor gain FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements.

The DSHEA can only protect consumers from laws generated by Codex that affect their ability to obtain dietary supplements as long as the government does not pass legislation that would nullify its power. There are a growing number of threats to the DSHEA which have the potential to affect its protection over consumer freedoms to use dietary supplements.  To date, the most serious of these threats lie within the Codex document Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, which require mandatory compliance by corporations and merchants selling these types of products.

The image portrayed on the Codex web site about its efforts is that its main purpose is to “protect consumers”. But it is also important to remember that while the organization has devoted much time and effort attempting to guard the consumer against danger, its main support comes from multi-billion dollar corporations and entities – all in existence to accomplish one goal – make a profit.

It is important to note that many alarmist web sites and information exist on the Internet and otherwise, making claims about Codex Alimentarius that present some information that is false and misleading.  Learn the facts.

Two good sources of information to help the consumer separate fact from fiction about Codex can be found on:

The Organic Consumer’s Organization web site

The Alliance for Natural Health

Whether you believe Codex Alimentarius to be a friend or foe, staying informed and educated about the activities of such organizations will prove crucial for the future of our food.

Interested in learning more and getting involved?  We want to limit the European Directive’s ability to use Codex and other mechanisms to:

  • Affect our freedoms to purchase quality food and dietary supplements and
  • Allow toxic chemicals, additives, and non-food substances into the food we consume

Visit the The Alliance for Natural Health, learn about the petition you can sign, and make your voice heard now!

This post is linked to on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please visit this site and read the other great real food articles listed there.


Comments (3) »

ACTION NOW! USDA Ready to Approve Widespread, Risky Field Trial of GE Trees

This e-mail arrived in my inbox this week, and it is an urgent call to action regarding genetically-engineered organisms. For those of you who are not familiar with the dangers of using genetically-modified organisms, here is a short list (source, Safe-Food.org):

  • Imprecise Technology—A genetic engineer moves genes from one organism to another. A gene can be cut precisely from the DNA of an organism, but the insertion into the DNA of the target organism is basically random. As a consequence, there is a risk that it may disrupt the functioning of other genes essential to the life of that organism. (Bergelson 1998)
  • Side Effects—Genetic engineering is like performing heart surgery with a shovel. Scientists do not yet understand living systems completely enough to perform DNA surgery without creating mutations which could be harmful to the environment and our health. They are experimenting with very delicate, yet powerful forces of nature, without full knowledge of the repercussions. (Washington Times 1997, The Village Voice 1998)
  • Widespread Crop Failure—Genetic engineers intend to profit by patenting genetically engineered seeds. This means that, when a farmer plants genetically engineered seeds, all the seeds have identical genetic structure. As a result, if a fungus, a virus, or a pest develops which can attack this particular crop, there could be widespread crop failure. (Robinson 1996)
  • Threatens Our Entire Food Supply—Insects, birds, and wind can carry genetically altered seeds into neighboring fields and beyond. Pollen from transgenic plants can cross-pollinate with genetically natural crops and wild relatives. All crops, organic and non-organic, are vulnerable to contamination from cross-pollinatation. (Emberlin et al 1999)

For more information, see link referenced above.

It is our duty as informed citizens to become educated about the issues of genetically-engineered crops and vehemently oppose them. Please read the following message from Center for Food Safety and take action today!

Deadline for this item is July 7, 2009. When you click on “take action” or “Tell a Friend”, please be sure to insert your own information in the boxes before submitting. Thanks for your support!




USDA Poised to Approve Widespread, Risky Field Trial of GE Trees

Dear Raine,

The biotechnology firm ArborGen has asked the USDA for
permission to conduct 29 field trials of genetically engineered
“cold tolerant” eucalyptus trees in the U.S.
For the first
time in history, this massive experiment, which is on the verge
of being green-lighted, will literally be using nature as the
laboratory to test more than 260,000 genetically engineered
trees. Scientists across the U.S. are voicing concerns over this
proposal.

As it did with GE alfalfa, USDA failed to conduct and
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to
comprehensively address all the relevant issues related to the
proposed eucalyptus field trials.
Scientists at Duke
University in North Carolina have created pollen models that
show tree pollen traveling from a forest in North Carolina for
over 1,000 kilometers northward into eastern Canada. A study
published in the New Physiologist found pine pollen 600
kilometers from the nearest pines. Scientists researching
sterility in trees have admitted that 100 percent guaranteed
sterility in GE trees is impossible. This evidence implies that
if GE trees are released into the environment, widespread and
irreversible contamination of native forests cannot be
prevented.

Contamination of natural trees by GE eucalyptus could pose
a severe environmental threat.
Eucalyptus grow well in warm
climates, so engineering them to tolerate cold temperatures
removes the only barrier to their unrestricted spread. In some
places where eucalyptus have been introduced, they are well
known for escaping and colonizing native ecosystems. For
example, eucalyptus is listed as an invasive species and a
costly plant pest in California. The spread of these plants into
the wild through seeds and plant matter is highly likely, and
the impacts on native ecosystems from this invader are largely
unknown. Additionally, one of the experimental GE tree varieties
is a known host for cryptococcus gatti, a fatal fungal pathogen
whose spores cause meningitis in people and animals.

Despite recent federal court decisions that USDA failed to
address the risk of contamination and other environmental risks
from genetically engineered plants, like GE bentgrass and
alfalfa, USDA seems poised to push ahead with this dangerous
proposal.

A public comment period is open until July 6th, 2009
– please send your comment to USDA APHIS opposing this risky
proposal today!

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):

Docket No. APHIS-2008-0059

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Oppose Docket No. APHIS-2008-0059

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

Docket No. APHIS-2008-0059
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road, Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Re: USDA/ APHIS Docket No. APHIS-2008-0059

I am strongly opposed to ArborGen’s proposal to conduct 29 field trials of experimental genetically engineered eucalyptus trees in the U.S. (APHIS-2008-0059) for the following reasons:

As it did with GE alfalfa, USDA failed to conduct and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to comprehensively address all the relevant issues related to the proposed eucalyptus field trials.

Eucalyptus species are introduced organisms into the US and grow well in certain warm climates such as the southern and southeast US regions. The main barrier to Eucalyptus becoming established in this region is that the varieties planted often die in cold temperatures. Genetically engineering them to tolerate those cold temperatures removes that barrier. In other regions, where eucalyptus have been introduced, they are well known for escaping and colonizing native ecosystems. Eucalyptus has become so established in California that it is now listed as an invasive species and a plant pest in the state.

Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina have created pollen models that show tree pollen traveling from a forest in North Carolina for over 1,000 kil
ometers northward into eastern Canada. A study published in the New Physiologist found pine pollen 600 kilometers from the nearest pines. Scientists researching sterility in trees have admitted that 100 percent guaranteed sterility in GE trees is impossible. This evidence implies that if GE trees are released into the environment, widespread and irreversible contamination of native forests cannot be prevented.

Contamination of natural trees by GE eucalyptus could pose a severe environmental threat. The spread of these plants into the wild through seeds and plant matter is highly likely, and the impacts on native ecosystems from this invader are largely unknown. Additionally, one of the experimental GE tree varieties is a known host for cryptococcus gatti, a fatal fungal pathogen whose spores cause meningitis in people and animals.

By the agency’s own admission, there are several varieties of eucalyptus that are naturally cold-tolerant, at least eight of which
could be grown in Southern U.S. states like Alabama. This field trial is not only risky, it is completely unnecessary.

Please deny this request, and require the implementation of a full Environmental Impact Statement.

Sincerely,

Your name

Take Action!
Instructions:


Click here to take action on this issue or choose the “Reply to Sender” option on your email program.

Tell-A-Friend:


Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

Tell-a-Friend!

What’s At Stake:

For more information on genetically trees, links to reports, and more, visit the Stop GE Trees Coalition website, a project of the Global Justice Ecology Project

Campaign Expiration Date:


July 7, 2009



Leave a comment »