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From the Townsend Letter
November 2006


Codex Chairman Seeks to Thwart Natural Solutions Foundation Pro Health Codex Initiative

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In an unprecedented move, Codex Alimentarius Commission's (CAC) Chairman Moshe sent a letter to the head of a national department in an African country to prevent the Natural Solutions Foundation from offering official sponsorship to a pro-health scientist so that he could attend Codex's meeting next week as part of that country's delegation. The Natural Solutions Foundation's pro-health multi-national strategy is apparently a significant threat to the underlying corporate agenda(s) of CAC. The national delegate, who had previously represented his country at numerous Codex meetings, was prevented from attending this year's meeting by the direct intervention of the power structure of CAC this week when the CAC Chair wrote a sharp letter opposing his attendance at the meeting. The delegate's country complied with the Chair's demand, so the delegate was prevented from attending as part of the National Solutions Foundation international pro-health consortium participating in the CAC deliberations (Geneva, July 2006). Political strategists and Natural Solutions Foundation analysts interpreted this move on the part of the CAC as confirming the centrality of the pro-corporate agenda of CAC.

CAC, or Codex, the world's food standard setting body, is a special project of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) convened at the request of the United Nations in 1962. Codex is strongly influenced by multinational corporations whose profit structures depend on large-scale agriculture ("Agribiz"), pesticides and other industrial chemicals in the food supply, veterinary drugs and growth stimulants ("Big Chema"), biotechnology ("Big Biotechna"), or widespread illness ("Big Pharma" and "Big Medica"). Leading health advocacy organizations like the Natural Solutions Foundation see Codex policies as relying heavily on corrupt corporate science. Codex policy appears to be strongly opposed to, rather than supportive of, optimal health.

In his highly irregular move, CAC Chairman Moshe directly intervened to block the participation of a strongly pro-health scientist with extensive Codex experience. The scientist, whose Natural Solutions Foundation-sponsored participation had been approved by the head of his national agency, is a well-known and outspoken voice for health, optimum nutrition, and environmental concerns. At stake this year is a dramatic change of direction for CAC: the implementation of the World Health Organization Global Strategy for Diet, Physical Activity and Health (GSDPAH) which was demanded of CAC by both of its parent organizations at the close of the 2005 CAC meeting (Rome, 2005).

Of major significance is a the development of a strong multi-national, pro-health lobby at CAC that can support 11 strongly pro-health principles for GSDPAH implementation introduced during discussion of the topic at the Codex Committee on Food Labeling by South Africa (May 1-5, 2006, Ottawa). If adopted and employed by CAC at its meeting this year, South Africa's 11 principles can accomplish what individual pro-health voices within CAC have not been able to accomplish in years: bringing optimal health forward as a Codex goal.

The Natural Solutions Foundation strongly supports the adoption of the South African principles for the implementation of the GSDPAH by CAC. Those principles focus on the following:

  • Optimal health (explicitly opposed by the United States as a goal for CAC (CCFL,
    May 1, Ottawa, 2006))
  • Access to nutritional supplements to enhance health
  • Definition of dietary supplements as important tools for optimal health
  • Elimination of commercial trans fats
  • Banning of junk food advertising that targets children under 18 (also explicitly opposed by the United States (CCFL, May 1, Ottawa, 2006)) and other strong public health measures.

These principles are of great importance to consumers. At the same time, they pose a significant threat to those corporate interests, which profit from contamination of the food supply and from widespread, preventable, but highly profitable illness. The GSDPAH was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2004 and, therefore, it is morally incumbent on every member nation of the World Health Organization (which includes most of the members of Codex) to implement these principles.

The subject of the GSDPAH was introduced at the CAC last July (Rome, 2005) after several attempts by WHO and FAO to focus CAC on what Dr. Kirsten Leitner of WHO identified as CAC's failure to "make a contribution to human health in the [then] 42 years of its existence." These efforts were rebuffed by last year's CAC Chair, Dr. A. Slorach. Dr. Leitner's statement [subsequently edited from the publicly available video and audio record of the July 4-9, 2005 CAC Rome meeting] was followed by several other attempts to direct CAC's attention to health promotion. On the last day of the meeting, WHO and FAO jointly directed CAC to implement the GSDPAH. CAC was directed to determine the nature of that implementation through discussions by two Codex Committees during the year leading up to this July's meeting.

Although the Codex Committee of Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) (Bonn, November 21-25, 2005) failed to move the discussion forward, because inadequate time was allotted for the discussion, the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) (Ottawa, 2006) did make progress with the introduction of South Africa's 11 principles.

In support of these strongly pro-health principles, the Natural Solutions Foundation ( has conducted an international mission and visited high-level decision makers and consumer advocates in Africa and elsewhere. Foundation President Major General Albert N. Stubblebine III (US Army, Ret.) and Medical Director Rima E. Laibow, MD, have spent many weeks meeting with decision makers at the top levels of government in many countries to explain the importance of supporting the South African position as a means of shifting CAC's function and mandate away from corporate benefits and preventable diseases of undernutrition toward consumer health and freedom of health choices. During these visits, the legal options available to each country to protect its people from health threats supported by CAC has been a topic of vigorous and productive discussion. Those health threats include accepting dangerously high pesticide levels, treating nutrients as toxins, mandating undernutrition, approving dangerous growth stimulants and mandatory antibiotic and hormone use as well as other dangerous veterinary drug residues, etc. The visits address the dilemma of how countries can resist these health threats while protecting themselves from crushing World Trade Organization (WTO) trade sanctions, which may take place if that country takes a stance divergent from the CAC's on these issues. Natural Solutions Foundation documents and information have been enthusiastically received by legislators, Ministers of Health, national consumer advocates and others in the countries where the most nutritionally vulnerable people in the world live. Their nutritional vulnerability makes them especially susceptible to the diseases identified by the WHO as the chronic degenerative diseases resulting from improper nutrition: cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity, which, in fact, are responsible for 59% of the world's disease burden now, a percentage that is expected to rise sharply as Codex provisions are implemented worldwide.

Natural Solutions Foundation's international activities have helped create a growing and increasingly vocal multi-national constituency for health within Codex. The Foundation has been successfully mobilizing an international pro-health coalition of countries whose policies are not yet set by the multinational corporations. The Foundation believes the corporate agenda is being served by Codex to the severe detriment of the health and health freedom of the global population. One of the tools the foundation uses is delegate sponsorship at Codex.

Sponsorship of delegates is permitted within the CAC context and is common among corporations. Sponsored delegates represent their countries but are also heavily influenced by the positions of their sponsors. Nestle, a major baby food and formula producer, for example, frequently sponsors delegates to the influential Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU). Using a "sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander" philosophy, the Natural Solutions Foundation offers sponsorship to delegates from countries whose national policies are pro-health but whose resources for participation in CAC are limited. Such sponsorship allows national delegations to attend and focus on strong support for health and opposition to health-hostile corporate agendas based upon junk science.

Natural Solutions Foundation is dedicated to two concepts: that good health rests on a solid foundation of access to a clean, unadulterated food supply, including high potency nutrients; and that it is the right of every consumer to choose natural health options, if they desire. The Foundation has pursued several strategies to promote world health and end world hunger in the US and elsewhere. These include a legal challenge to US Codex policy concerning dietary supplements (the Codex Citizen's Petition,; an informational DVD (Nutricide: the DVD,; a Codex e-Book, (, documenting the protective strategy any country can take against Codex errors, as applied to the destructive and restrictive Vitamin and Mineral Guideline; and multiple international missions to meet with decision-makers in the world's most nutritionally vulnerable countries to urge careful consideration of health policies that are protective, unlike most of those urged by the supposedly "science-based" Codex guidelines and standards.

For example, Codex's restrictive "Vitamin and Mineral Guideline" treats nutrients as toxins that must be regulated on the basis of "risk analysis" without regard for benefit. Incredibly, a US-dominated WHO Workshop on the Application of Risk Assessment to Nutrients expanded the concept from vitamins and minerals to all nutrients and offered further guidance, which defines an adverse event related to any nutrient as "any change in a bio-marker." This means that any nutrient that produces any change, no matter how beneficial, will be a prohibited substance for international trade. At the same time, nations are being advised to adopt the alleged "science-based" Codex Guidelines as their own domestic legislation in a process called "harmonization." Based on poor science, many of these guidelines guarantee poor nutritional status and preventable ill health for billions of people, starting with the most nutritionally vulnerable. By studying the legal and procedural levels of Codex and the World Trade Organization, the Natural Solutions Foundation and its allies have devised a strategy for national correction of health-hostile actions taken by Codex and revision of health-hostile Guidelines by individual nations, including the Vitamin and Mineral Guideline

The Natural Solutions Foundation, in cooperation with its allies in the Health Freedom movement (e.g., the Citizen's Codex Working Group), believes that most of the Codex actions are supportive of corporate well-being, but highly threatening to consumer health and choice. To protect health and health freedom, the Natural Solutions Foundation therefore pursues grassroots development, leadership education, and strategic support of countries and groups wishing to support consumer health and health freedom.

Rima Laibow
Natural Solutions Foundation

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