Susan Negus’ Comments on trip to 24th Session of CODEX Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses in Berlin Germany, November 4-8, 2002
It was appropriately cold when I attended my second Codex meeting in Berlin. Codex is a group of 75 countries and international organizations set up to establish standards on food and vitamins to insure consumer quality and fair trade for the consumer. Though much effort and money was put into this, some things never change.
The building where the meeting is held has a very confusing feeling. The cold, rough Germanic scientific look of the architecture is contrasted by the peaceful fields with a few animals meandering around. Inside is more of the “practical-starkness” offset by beautiful stone art and water displays. As I pondered the contrasting designs, I began to wonder how you could get seventy-five countries and organizations that had different interests, goals, cultures and beliefs and spoke different languages, to agree on anything! It didn’t take much time to figure the answer out – you don’t. Everyone wanted everyone else to believe what they believed and no one was willing to listen to factual data and put aside their agenda and do what might really be beneficial for others. They had an agenda dictated by their government or special interest group and their goal was to convince others that they had the best ideas and solutions. That was the “bottom line.”
I sat there and asked myself ‘who is anyone else to tell me what to do and in fairness, who am I to tell people what to do?’ Let me have the freedom to get good information and then make my own decisions. I know I’ve made a few of those bad choices in my life but, at least I made the decision. I am responsible for what I do and can learn from my mistakes. It is important to let people make their own choices – even if it is a wrong or bad one – otherwise we rely on someone else telling us what to do and few people like that.
For over 25 years, Codex has been trying to establish standards to be used by countries around the world to protect consumers and insure fair trade. This meeting in Berlin was only one of several held around the world every 1 or 2 years. I began to think about how much (or really how little) had been accomplished verses how much it has and is costing governments, companies and individuals. Even people who don’t run a business understand the concept of cost and benefit-is the cost of what you’re doing worth what you get; the benefit. When looking at the cost/benefit of Codex, it doesn’t take one long to figure out how ridiculous this whole circus is. Comments from other participants seem to feel the same way, but at the same time they are afraid of what might happen if they didn’t show a presence or share their point of view and protect their beliefs.
When you add up all the money and time spent trying to get everyone to agree on something, that in reality they can’t agree on, one must wonder, why waste the time and money trying to control people? Why not spend that money educating people so they can make their own informed decisions instead of trying to restrict things like, in particular, vitamins which are extremely safe? The National Health Federations delegate’s comments, that since ‘more people died from doctors visits that it made more sense to limit hospital stays rather than vitamins’ seemed such a simple but profound statement!
On a positive note, this year I found that there is a growing group of people that are truly concerned about protecting consumer’s rights rather than Codex’s goal of controlling their rights. However, these groups either didn’t have the clout because they were from an International Non-Governmental Organization, or were from smaller countries or were hesitant to express their view if it was contrary to the larger countries opinions. As a result, these groups that cared about consumers rather than politics were not heard. When they did speak up, they were quickly denounced by the larger countries who were exercising their size to intimidate them and force their views on the others.
Of the few that did speak up (mainly South Africa and the National Health Federation) and even though they were quickly put down, it was easy to tell that they truly believed in helping people and protecting their freedom to make choices on their health supplements. For them there was no political agenda – it was just pure caring for people. I saw others, such as the United States and European Union, who were willing to compromise and “cut deals.” From their actions one would assume they cared more about politics than the consumer.
This brings up a very important point. One must be passionate about what is important to them. We need to respect rather than restrict others who think differently from us. We can even agree to disagree. Only respect, passion and the belief we know in our hearts will allow us to coexist together happily.
So, what do we do about Codex? I think we should do the same we should do about life – get passionate. But, as we should with anything, do it in a respectful, intelligent manner. I’ve seen so much infighting within the overly “passionate” people of Codex that they repel others who may otherwise listen to their information and then spread that good information.
The goal of having one standard for the world screams of Biblical prophecy telling of the “one world government” to come and the danger and horrors that will come with that. Even at first there is “peace and safety”. In the end, there is death and horror. Only those that see the truth with their hearts will survive – no matter what the circumstances.
Codex offers the same situation. It may seem good, but it won’t work. Even though it may have gone too far, one must use wisdom and be willing to walk away and; cut their losses rather than continue down the path of destruction.
I attended as a member of the National Health Federation delegation, which participated as an International Non-Govermental Organizational group, but I am also on the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Health Association.
|Susan J. Negus, H.H.D. is president of Dreamous Corporation USA. She has a strong background and education in business and holistic health and has dedicated her life to helping people live a healthier life. Ms. Negus is Secretary/Treasurer of the American Holistic Health Association Board of Directors. She attended the November 2001 and 2002 sessions of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses. She has appeared on national and international television promoting health of body and spirit and done radio shows on HGH and other healthy living modalities.|