As the 29th session of the Codex committee on nutrition opens today, a rather surprising attack on our efforts has already been made...
CODEX MEETING IN GERMANY SET TO DECIDE FUTURE FOR VITAMIN CONSUMERS AROUND THE WORLD
12 November 2007
The US-based National Health Federation (NHF), the world’s longest-standing health-freedom organisation, is today beginning a week of meetings at the 29th session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. Expected to be attended by over 300 delegates, observers and advisors, representing about 70 member countries and over 30 international organizations, the Committee, sponsored by the Food & Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization, is the world’s highest international body setting global standards and guidelines on nutrition.
With consumer members all over the world, and a board of governors and advisory board containing representatives from six countries, the NHF is unique as being the only consumer health-freedom organization in the world to enjoy official observer delegate status at Codex. The NHF therefore has the opportunity to make representations on behalf of natural health interests all over the world, which are presently being threatened by over-regulation stimulated by spurious science, misinformed media attacks and corporate pressure from large food and pharmaceutical concerns.
Making up the three-person NHF delegation at this year’s meeting is Scott Tips, NHF’s President and Legal Counsel, Dr Robert Verkerk, scientific advisor to the NHF and also Executive and Scientific Director of the Alliance for Natural Health, and Paul Anthony Taylor, the NHF’s Chairman and also External Relations Director for the Dr Rath Foundation.
“Since Codex sets international principles, guidelines, and standards for all types of foods,” said Scott Tips, “it is essential that the voice of vitamin consumers be heard adequately—and this has been our key focus at Codex ever since we’ve been involved. We are here to make a difference at these meetings and we can already see from our attendance at yesterday's Electronic Working Group meeting on risk assessment that a number of delegations are receptive to our ideas. ”
Addressing some serious scientific concerns, Dr Robert Verkerk added, “In yesterday’s meeting, we have managed to make a strong case that risk-assessment approaches presently being used in Europe—which are being pushed as global guidelines to be adopted through Codex—need to be urgently amended if they are not to prevent millions of people in both the less-developed and developed world from obtaining health-promoting levels of nutrients in foods and food supplements.”
To find out more about Codex, and its potential implications to natural health, listen to the Codex special on the Alliance for Natural Health’s Natural Health Hour on Californian-based internet radio station, www.aimhealthyradio.com, to be broadcast for the first time at 13:00h GMT today.
In an unfortunate development late last night, Dr Rima Laibow of the US-based Natural Solutions Foundation, issued an unprovoked attack on the NHF delegation through her daily email blog. The attack appeared to stem from Dr Laibow’s frustration at not being able to make any comment during Codex meetings owing to the refusal of the Natural Solution Foundation’s application for Codex ‘observer status’ in July 2006 (see further discussion in Editor’s Notes below).
For further information contact:
Dr Robert Verkerk Scientific Advisor, NHF Executive & Scientific Director, ANH Tel: +44 (0)1306 646 600 Email: [email protected] www.anhcampaign.org
1. Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU): one of 27 committees of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, established under the auspices of the Food & Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. www.codexalimentarius.net.
2. National Health Federation: established in 1955, the National Health Federation is a consumer-education, health-freedom organization working to protect individuals' rights to choose to consume healthy food, take supplements and use alternative therapies without unnecessary government restrictions. The NHF is the only such organization with recognized observer status at Codex meetings. www.thenhf.com.
3. Alliance for Natural Health: The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), founded in 2002, is a UK-based, internationally-active not-for-profit campaign organisation working to protect and promote sustainable approaches to healthcare through the use of ‘good science’ and ‘good law.’ www.anhcampaign.org.
4. Natural Solutions Foundation blog, issued 11 November 2007, http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php/?p=442
As is customary with a large body of the outputs from the Natural Solutions Foundation (NSF), this most recent email blog from the NSF’s Medical Director, Dr Rima Laibow, contained numerous inaccuracies and misrepresentation of facts. Such inaccuracies have been reported previously by the Dr Rath Foundation, viz: http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/THE_FOUNDATION/Events/codex-beware.htm.
Dr Laibow’s vehicle, the NSF, was founded in 2004 and applied for Codex ‘observer status’ in March 2006 (see full application on ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/ccexec58/ex58_04e.pdf, p. 6). The application was refused by the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in mid-2006 (www.codexalimentarius.net/download/report/661/al2903Ae.pdf, p. 14, item 109), and was confirmed at the 30th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in July 2007 (ftp://ftp.fao.org/Codex/CAC/CAC30/if30_02e.pdf).
The main attack in Dr Laibow’s blog against the NHF, which is clearly identified yet unnamed, seems to surround the NHF delegation’s numerous vocal interventions during yesterday’s meeting of the Electronic Working Group on risk assessment. The NHF’s ability to make interventions during Codex meetings is a function of its ‘observer status,’ which it was granted in 2002.
However, it is clear from the NSF’s application for Codex ‘observer status,’ that the NSF was itself planning to make interventions had it been successful in its application. An extract from its application reads as follows:
“The Natural Solutions Foundation anticipates making salient contributions to the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme by submitting commentary and suggestions to this body on issues which touch on consumer well being, crafted by affiliated attorneys at law and physicians.” (Source: ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/ccexec58/ex58_04e.pdf)
Could your attack on the NHF be a case of sour grapes, Dr Laibow?
The NHF’s many interventions during the Electronic Working Group meeting contrasted with Dr Laibow’s enforced silence. Each one of the NHF’s interventions was carefully considered and was made solely in a bid to help protect the future of natural healthcare and benefit vitamin consumers around the world.
Dr Rima Laibow, in her typical fashion, has hit out at the only team in Codex that is actively working in the interests of vitamin consumers, and—once again—Dr Laibow has deeply misunderstood both what the NHF delegation is doing at Codex and what she has the capacity to achieve on the outside, given her unsuccessful application for ‘observer status.’
A more comprehensive discussion of the misstatements, deliberate or otherwise, made by Dr Laibow will be issued shortly on the National Health Federation’s website, www.thenhf.com. In the meantime, the NHF delegation has real work to do protecting your health freedoms through its participation as an INGO in the current session of this Codex committee meeting.