Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Codex Committee: “You Can’t Tell People that Food Prevents Disease!”
Not even nutrient-related disease! Our executive director’s gripping report from the front lines.
As we discussed last week, ANH-USA represented US consumers at the international Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses, which met last week in Germany. Our executive director, Gretchen DuBeau, reports that the committee made a number of decisions that may well affect natural health in the US.
Here in the US, we have been debating various issues concerning natural health: Will we retain access to a wide variety of dietary supplements in high-nutrient-level dosages? Will we be able to access nutritious, healthy foods, or will selection and quality diminish because of industry or government control? Will we finally achieve mandatory labeling for GMOs? We naturally think that, if we are able to convince our policymakers, our rights will be protected. But we could be wrong. We have to keep a close eye on what happens overseas too.
Codex, which was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is creating international guidelines for member nations to follow. And while these guidelines are supposed to be voluntary, it is conceivable that our country’s food policies could be overridden by international trade law. At the very least, the wrong international guidelines won’t make it easier to keep the right ones here.
One of the most significant outcomes from this meeting would have the effect of squelching free speech even further. In relation to principles underlying food fortification for the prevention of diet-related illness, the committee members emphasized that language indicating that food prevents disease is forbidden and they are opposed to claims that may “mislead”—even if the claim is true. Read more >>