CAFTA, CODEX and dietary supplements
CAFTA is bad news for consumers of dietary supplements because it is one of the dominos in the global bodies that will dictate how global Codex Vitamin and Mineral guidelines will get implemented world-wide.
There are multiple reasons to vote no to CAFTA including job loss and the rights of workers and environmental concerns.
But for consumers of dietary supplements it needs to be opposed because CAFTA has not created exemptions for dietary supplements and promotes the public policies of the WTO and of Codex which mandate maximum upper limits on vitamins
and minerals for exports and imports.
Every time another international body reinforces the Draconian concept that dietary supplements are dangerous and officials put it into the public policy of their agreements, we come one step closer to losing our freedom to access mother nature and all food and other substances that are generally regarded as safe.
The USA is the only country in the world that has DSHEA and views vitamins and minerals as generally regarded as safe and does not impose upper limits on quantities. DSHEA could be jeopardized from within the USA by its own legislators. A severe and cruel bill – HR 3156 – has just been introduced June 30, 2005, in the US Congress, to destroy DSHEA.
Or DSHEA could be challenged from without under global trade agreements. If global bodies work to move from promoting or recommending global standards to mandating the use of global standards by their members in their own countries, that would be the death knell of our domestic DSHEA laws.
Today Codex applies to exports. Tomorrow it may apply to our internal laws. That is because International policy setting is a way to force countries to harmonize eventually. There are many complex ways this can happen.
The most important thing we can do world-wide is promote the concept that dietary supplements are generally regarded as safe and governments should have to prove significant imminent harm before regulating and that DSHEA is a good idea for the health of the whole world.
CAFTA is bad news for consumers of dietary supplements because it is one of the dominos in the global bodies that will dictate how global Codex Vitamin and Mineral guidelines will get implemented world-wide. Here is how it goes:
CAFTA impacts vitamins and minerals in the same way that Codex and WTO impact vitamins and minerals.
Because CAFTA is a regional trade agreement that is based on the WTO Agreements and it affirms the rights and obligations of its members under WTO.
And the WTO Agreements specifically name Codex in their agreements and point to Codex as the international guidelines to be used for the exportation and importation of food trade.
And the Codex standard setting body, Codex Alimentarius, has recently passed official Guidelines for Vitamins and Minerals, July 4, 2005, for the exportation and importation of vitamins and minerals which included mandating maximum upper limits on all vitamins and minerals based on a risk assessment protocol. The risk assessment protocol will be set up by Codex itself.
So basically, CAFTA is one more set of trade agreements that will promote the agendas of WTO and Codex.
CAFTA does not contain any exemptions for jurisdiction over dietary supplements. It merely refers to WTO and Codex obligations.
Diane M. Miller JD
Legal and Public Policy Director
National Health Freedom Action