Influence from EU
Some, if not all, of the restrictive elements of the Codex Draft Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements reflect the restrictive elements of the European Union’s Dietary Supplement Directive. If you live in the U.S. with open access to dietary supplements and nutritional information, it may be difficult for you to understand how different it is in many other countries. For example, European Union regulations state that anything which modifies physiological functions should be controlled as a medicinal product. This includes a vitamin or mineral that enhances health and preventives disease. In some countries it is illegal for a health professional to share the nutritional benefits of supplements with a patient.

At the German-based Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) that drafted the Guidelines the EU was able to use its influence to block almost all attempts to modify the restrictive aspects.

Influence from Business Interests?
Suzanne Harris of The Law Loft in states…
“A few months later, I was dining in Washington with another group of food regulators fresh with the kind of know-it-all arrogance that strikes people who have been around the block at Codex once or twice, and I said: ‘You know, it’s really fascinating to watch how regulations that affect us here at home start out at international meetings.'”

“‘No, they don’t,’ intoned a voice from the other end of the table. ‘They start with decisions by industry. I was at a trade meeting where a new form of packaging was unveiled. Not too long thereafter, the same idea was presented at Codex. That’s the way things are done now. And you would do it that way too. Why run around from country to country seeking the regulations you want when you can do it all in one shot at Codex?’ The speaker, whom I have paraphrased, was a bureaucrat from the Department of Agriculture.”

Reviewing the history of the development of the Guidelines shows that the initial recorded discussion about regulating dietary supplements was in the German-based CCNFSDU in 1988. Could Suzanne be right?

Should anyone doubt that the pharmaceutical industry has power and influence, they need to read a government report from the United Kingdom House of Commons Health Committee The Influence of the Pharmaceutical Industry. Be sure to review the Conclusions and Recommendations on pages 114 through 120. For a quick overview, read Big Pharma Indicted By UK Parliamentary Health Committee.

FDA Suppressed Vital Drug Safety Information points out, “Nutrients of course might just cut illness by a huge percentage if they were widely and liberally used, but that would be bad for (pharmaceutical) business.”

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This Codex Section was restructured in June 2005. This specific page was last updated September 2014.

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