Alliance for Natural Health Press Release

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member


    For immediate release

    25 November 2005


    International Committee setting out to determine vitamin safety and health
    claims at risk of using flawed science according to experts

    Today sees the end of three days of meetings of delegations from some 70
    countries and numerous non-governmental organizations, at the 27th Session
    of the Codex Committee on Nutrition & Foods for Special Dietary Uses
    (CCNFSDU) in Bonn, Germany.

    The Committee, which started developing a global guideline on
    vitamin-and-mineral food supplements more than 10 years ago, was attempting
    at this year's meeting to address a number of additional contentious issues. Amongst others, these included the amounts of vitamins and minerals required
    for good health, the application of risk assessment to establish safe
    maximum dosages, the scientific basis of health claims, and the
    implementation of the World Health Organization's Global Strategy on Diet,
    Physical Activity and Health.

    The National Health Federation (NHF), a US-based, international
    health-freedom organisation of more than 50-years standing, was the only
    non-governmental delegation representing the interests of vitamin consumers
    at this meeting.

    The NHF sent three delegate members to this year's meeting. Scott Tips,
    Legal Counsel for the NHF and its Codex delegation head, said:

    "The bad news is that these guidelines could stop millions of people around the world from
    using food supplements containing nutrients in sufficient amounts to benefit
    their health.

    The good news is that there is recognition by an increasing
    number of delegates that there are serious flaws in some of the scientific
    methods being used by some health authorities that are now under
    consideration by the Committee. Fortunately, however, we believe it's not
    too late to rectify these problems."

    Scientific Advisor to the NHF and its newest delegation member, Dr Robert
    Verkerk, who is also Executive & Scientific Director of the pan-European
    Alliance for Natural Health, continued:

    "There is increasing scientific consensus that a sea change in the nature of
    the science being contemplated for both risk assessment and the setting of
    nutritional reference values is needed. We are working closely with
    scientists around the world to help facilitate this change and the NHF will
    be making submissions directly to the Committee's Electronic Working Groups
    that are dealing with these issues. If governments are going to address
    nutritional health seriously, they cannot any longer afford to ignore the
    role of high-quality food supplements in health promotion."

    The NHF's Vice Chairman and veteran Codex delegate for the organization,
    Paul Anthony Taylor, added: "Codex guidelines are, in part, supposedly
    designed to protect consumers, when in fact, they could actually cause harm
    by preventing people from accessing beneficial vitamin dosages and forms.

    Millions of consumers are already using dietary supplements in ways that we
    could not have imagined when vitamins were first discovered. For example,
    when the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced recently that vitamin
    C selectively kills cancer cells, this information was trumpeted around the
    world by the media as if it were a new discovery. In reality, of course,
    enlightened consumers have known about this property of vitamin C for many
    years now and have been safely using this information as a means of
    improving their health and prolonging their lives.

    Codex guidelines should
    be assisting, not inhibiting, the spread of existing knowledge."

    Unfortunately, due to a lack of time and last-minute shuffling of its
    schedule that relegated some of the most important issues for consumers to
    the end of the meeting, the Committee did not adequately discuss the agenda
    items on health claims and risk analysis. The NHF, along with other
    consumer and health-freedom groups around the world, is concerned that if
    excessively restrictive global guidelines for vitamins and minerals are
    established through Codex, consumer access to food supplements with a long
    history of safe use will be blocked. This would particularly be the case if
    countries adopt the guidelines into their own national laws, but could also
    occur as a result of socio-political pressures caused by the existence of
    internationally-recognised guidelines backed by World Trade Organization
    enforcement sanctions.

    The NHF shall therefore continue to work with other delegations in pursuing
    specific and realistic pro-active strategies that will maximize consumer
    choice and optimize human health.


    For further information contact:
    Scott Tips
    Legal Counsel, NHF
    Tel: +1 626-357-2181

    Dr Robert Verkerk
    Scientific Advisor, NHF
    Executive & Scientific Director, ANH
    Tel: +44 (0)1252 371 275

    Editor's Notes:

    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. For further information:

    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 government restrictions.
    The NHF is the only such organization with recognized observer status at
    Codex meetings. For further information:

    Alliance for Natural Health: The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) is a
    UK-based, pan-European and international not-for-profit campaign
    organisation working to protect and promote natural health care through the
    use of 'good science and good law.' For further information:

    Summary of progress of the 27th Session of CCNFSDU, Bonn, Germany, 21-25
    November 2005
    WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health

    A discussion paper prepared by WHO/FAO regarding the Implementation of the
    WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health had originally
    been scheduled to be included under agenda item 2. However, this discussion
    was moved to agenda item 10, under 'Other Business and Future Work.' As a
    result there was only a very limited amount of time available to discuss the
    proposed implementation strategy.

    During the short discussions that did
    take place, WHO presented a new two-page proposal document to the Committee.
    Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of delegations had not seen this
    document because its presence had not been previously announced and the WHO
    had apparently run out of copies.

    The Codex Secretariat eventually admitted
    that there was not enough time to address this difficult and complex issue,
    and stated that the Committee should report to the Codex Alimentarius
    Commission that there had not been enough time to address the proposal;
    adding that it could perhaps be considered instead by the Codex regional
    coordinating committees.
    FAO/WHO Nutrient Risk Assessment Project

    It was also announced during this week's meeting that the final report from
    the Joint FAO/WHO project to develop scientific principles on nutrient risk
    assessment is currently being prepared and that it should be available
    during or before early 2006. The report will then be discussed at the next
    meeting of the CCNFSDU in Thailand.

    Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs)

    A discussion paper on Nutrient Reference Values was introduced by Antoinette
    Booyzen on behalf of South Africa. After some discussion it was decided
    that South Africa should be given the mandate to further revise this
    document, as a means of establishing some fundamental principles.

    It was also announced that an FAO/WHO meeting will be taking place in
    December in Florence, Italy, with the goal of reaching agreement on
    principles and guidelines that will lead to evidence-based dietary
    standards. As a part of this work FAO/WHO will be discussing the
    possibility of setting up an expert consultation to establish new NRVs.

    Proposed Draft Recommendations on the Scientific Basis of Health Claims

    Once again, and for the second year running, there was only a very limited
    opportunity to discuss this agenda item. Issues that came up during the
    short debate that did take place concerned the substantiation of health
    claims and disease risk reduction claims. There was no in-depth examination
    of these topics however. It was agreed that this work would be continued by
    the electronic working group chaired by France.

    Discussion Paper on the Application of Risk Analysis to the Work

    A Discussion Paper on the Application of Risk Analysis to the Work of the
    CCNFSDU had been prepared by Australia, with the assistance of Canada, the
    European Community, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, the United States, the
    International Alliance for Dietary Supplement Associations (IADSA), and the
    International Union of Food Science & Technology (IUFoST). Australia
    introduced the paper and proposed that the work of the Electronic Working
    Group (EWG) should continue. In response, the Committee's Chairman, Dr.
    Rolf Grossklaus, stated that this work was of enormous importance, and that
    it should be given the highest priority. It was therefore agreed that the
    work of the EWG would continue under the chairmanship of Australia.

    2006 Session of the CCNFSDU

    Next year's meeting in October/November will take place in Thailand. The
    Thai government will co-host the session along with the German Secretariat.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2005]
  2. tigger5

    tigger5 New Member

    I've been trying to follow this issue since I first heard about it last fall. So many people don't realize how very real this is and how soon we might loose access to the supplements that help us survive.

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