I can’t help wondering about the timing of this whole swine flu pandemic.  Is it being conveniently used to divert our attention away from Codex Ailmentarius, which effectively allows global corporations control of the world’s food supply through a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety.

I don’t pretend to understand Codex Ailmentarius.  I’m not sure how completely anyone does as it is a minefield of subcommittees and guidelines stretching all the way back to 1963.  However on 31st December 2009 a new set of guidelines comes into place that should be of concern to any of us who eat!

Dr. Gregory Damato, Ph.D gives a brief outline:

While the esoteric agenda of the media is busy driving fear into the hearts of the world by focusing on terrorism, global warming, salmonella, and food shortages, the real threats are clandestinely becoming a reality. Soon every single thing you put into your mouth (with the exception of pharmaceuticals, of course) will be highly regulated by Codex Alimentarius, including water. The standards of Codex are a complete affront to the freedom of clean and healthy food, yet these regulations have no legal international standing. Why should we be worried? These soon-to-be mandatory standards will apply to every country who are members of the WTO (World Trade Organization). If countries do not follow these standards, then enormous trade sanctions will result. Some Codex standards that will take effect on December 31, 2009 and once initiated are completely irrevocable include [2]:

* All nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are to be considered toxins/poisons and are to be removed from all food because Codex prohibits the use of nutrients to “prevent, treat or cure any condition or disease”

* All food (including organic) is to be irradiated, removing all toxic nutrients from food (unless eaten locally and raw).

* Nutrients allowed will be limited to a Positive List developed by Codex which will include such beneficial nutrients like Fluoride (3.8 mg daily) developed from environmental waste. All other nutrients will be prohibited nationally and internationally to all Codex-compliant countries [2].

* All nutrients (e.g., CoQ10, Vitamins A, B, C, D, Zinc and Magnesium) that have any positive health impact on the body will be deemed illegal under Codex and are to be reduced to amounts negligible to humans’ health [3].

* You will not even be able to obtain these anywhere in the world even with a prescription.

* All advice on nutrition (including written online or journal articles or oral advice to a friend, family member or anyone) will be illegal. This includes naturalnews.com reports on vitamins and minerals and all nutritionist’s consultations.

* All dairy cows are to be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone.

* All animals used for food are to be treated with potent antibiotics and exogenous growth hormones.

* The reintroduction of deadly and carcinogenic organic pesticides that in 1991, 176 countries (including the U.S.) have banned worldwide including 7 of the 12 worst at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pesticides (e.g., Hexachlorobenzene, Toxaphene, and Aldrin) will be allowed back into food at elevated levels [4].

* Dangerous and toxic levels (0.5 ppb) of aflotoxin in milk produced from moldy storage conditions of animal feed will be allowed. Aflotoxin is the second most potent (non-radiation) carcinogenic compound known to man.

* Mandatory use of growth hormones and antibiotics on all food herds, fish and flocks

* Worldwide implementation of unlabeled GMOs into crops, animals, fish and trees.

* Elevated levels of residue from pesticides and insecticides that are toxic to humans and animals.

Some examples of potential permissible safe levels of nutrients under Codex include [2]:

* Niacin – upper limits of 34 mcg daily (effective daily doses include 2000 to 3000 mcgs).

* Vitamin C – upper limits of 65 to 225 mcg daily (effective daily doses include 6000 to 10000 mcgs).

* Vitamin D – upper limits of 5 μg daily (effective daily doses include 6000 to 10000 μg).

* Vitamin E – upper limits of 15 IU of alpha tocopherol only per day, even though alpha tocopherol by itself has been implicated in cell damage and is toxic to the body (effective daily doses of mixed tocopherols include 10000 to 12000 IU).

The Door is Open for Codex

In 1995, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created an illegal policy stating that international standards (i.e, Codex) would supersede U.S. laws governing all food even if these standards were incomplete [5]. Furthermore, in 2004 the U.S. passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (illegal under U.S. law, but legal under international law) that requires the U.S. to conform to Codex in December of 2009 [6].

Once these standards are adopted there is no possible way to return to the standards of the old. Once Codex compliance begins in any area, as long as we remain a member of the WTO, it is totally irrevocable. These standards are then unable to be repealed, changed or altered in any way shape or form [1, 2, 7].

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the above information, as I’m relatively new to the topic but there are enough points of concern there to suggest it is something we all should be researching.

Rema Laibow gives an introduction:

However, as I’ve discovered over the past few months, every significant dissenting movement appears to have been infiltrated by individuals planted with an agenda to control opposition to official spin.  Experience has shown it is a wonderfully simply way to create division within a movement and distract people from the task at hand, reeking of the old adage “divide and conquer”.  Ascertaining who these individuals may be is not easy, especially if, like myself, you are new to the topic.  I’ll suspend judgement until I’ve looked into it in more depth.

But I do want to point out there are others, including Dr Robert Verkerk who question the intentions and integrity of these claims, stating the regulations coming into play on 31st December 2009 date are not directly related to Codex.

Codex Alimentarius, certainly in alternative circles, is often claimed to be the single greatest threat to our continued access to natural health products and wholesome foods. Robert Verkerk, of the Alliance for Natural Health, challenges some of the misconceptions and explains both what Codex is really about and what else we should be concerned about.

Misinformation about Codex

There is a rumour circulating that Codex will come into force on December 31st 2009. This rumour is incorrect. This date actually represents one of many implementation dates of the European Food Supplements Directive and is nothing directly to do with Codex.

The text for the Codex Guideline on Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, which has been based closely on the EU Directive—sharing some of its text verbatim—was ratified in July 2005 but is unlikely to finalised until around 2012 or 2013. It is only at this time it is likely to be used as the basis for national and regional laws in many parts of the world. To a large extent, Codex guidelines on food supplements are irrelevant to Europeans as they simply reflect the European laws on which they are based and it is the laws that ultimately affect our access to products, not the Codex guideline.

Many other guidelines and standards, for example those affecting genetically modified (GM) foods and organic foods are complete, although they tend to be subject to regular amendment.

Some of the misinformation on Codex appears to be deliberately disseminated, while other parts are unwitting reproductions of the misinformation by concerned yet naive individuals. Among the common erroneous facts are:

  • All nutrients (eg. vitamins and minerals) are to be considered toxins/poisons and are to be removed from all food because Codex prohibits the use of nutrients to ‘prevent, treat or cure any condition or disease’.
  •  All food (including organic) is to be irradiated, thus removing all ‘toxic’ nutrients from food (unless consumers can source their food locally).
  • Nutrients allowed will be limited to a Positive List developed by Codex; it will include such ‘beneficial’ nutrients as fluoride (3.8 mg daily), sourced from industrial waste.
  • All nutrients (eg. vitamins A, B, C, D, zinc and magnesium) that have any positive health impact on the body will be deemed illegal in therapeutic doses under Codex and are to be reduced to amounts negligible to health, with maximum limits set at 15% of the current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). You will not be able to obtain these nutrients in therapeutic doses anywhere in the world, even with a prescription.
  • It will most likely be illegal to give any advice on nutrition (including in written articles posted online and in journals as well as oral advice to a friend, a family member or anyone).
  • All dairy cows on the planet are to be treated with Monsanto’s genetically engineered, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH).
  • All animals used for food are to be treated with potent antibiotics and exogenous growth hormones.
  • Use of growth hormones and antibiotics will be mandatory on all livestock, birds and aquacultured species meant for human consumption.
  • The worldwide introduction of unlabelled and deadly GMOs into crops, animals, fish and plants will be mandated.

These are big claims indeed. They are also deeply worrying for anyone who cares about managing his or her health naturally, be it by consuming copious quantities of wholesome, organic whole foods or taking lashings of supplementary vitamins, minerals and herbs — or both. The problem is that these claims are not all true. Some are actually quite far off the mark, yet most contain elements of truth. 

Here is Dr Verkerk’s introduction to the topic:

The following lecture by Ian R. Crane is well worth watching as he places Codex within its broader political context:

What does it mean for us here in Australia?

The Therapeutic Goods Association in Australia assures us that Codex will not be an issue for consumers of supplements in Australia as they are not registered as food substances here as they are in the US and therefore will not come under the umbrella of these guidelines.

I have three issues with this declaration:

1. If  Codex is a process of “gradualism” as claimed even if these regulations are not directly related to Codex the existence of template guidelines in the EU makes me nervous especially given the corporate push for globalisation and one world government.  Will those guidelines eventually be extended to other nations?  And if so, how long will it be before the threat of fines or trade sanctions forces Australia to change the regulation of supplements.

2.  It ignores the other issues with regard to forced use of antibiotics and growth hormone use in food animals, food irradiation and the reinstatement of carcinogenic pesticides.

3.  The TGA is has behaved in such an outrageously biased manner in the past with the Pan Pharmaceutical debacle that it is now incredibly difficult to treat them as a credible source of information.  It’s a lengthy story  but basically, back in 2003 after a faulty batch of Travacalm caused excessive side effects the TGA quite rightly recalled the product.  However, they issued a Level 1 recall (“potentially life-threatening”) despite there being no deaths and recalled not just Travacalm but 219 of Pan’s natural health products.  Travacalm, by the way, was an over the counter pharmacy-only drug – not a natural health product.  Their bias was further exposed when reports emerged of  43,000 deaths and 125,000 people suffering stokes or heart attacks after taking the anti-arthritic drug Vioxx.  In this instance the TGA chose to issue a lower Level 2 recall (“could cause illness”) and recalled just the single product.  Sorry TGA, but your credibility is shot with that single act alone.

For now I choose not to be placated by their reassurances about Codex and will do my own reasearch.  I urge others to follow suit and just keep Codex in mind as these other heath diversions, such as the swine flu, emerge.  I’ve a suspicion we’ll see more of them in the coming years.  Particularly now the World Health Organization’s recently amended definition of pandemic actually could encompass any new strain of normal seasonal flu.