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Tag Archive: Codex


Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

 

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In several of my recent articles, I have discussed the problems of using “risk assessment” methodology in the evaluation of both vitamin and mineral supplements and Genetically Modified (GM) food. I have also discussed at length the dangers of the Codex Alimentarius and U.S. Food and Drug Administration position on GM food which is known as “substantial equivalence” and, in its more extreme forms, “substantial similarity.”

However, another concern addressed by the Codex Guidelines has to deal with antibiotic resistance created through the process of genetic engineering. Yet, as is typical of any Codex Alimentarius presentation, the agency makes several misleading and unsettling statements in this regard as well. While Codex does state that methods should be used that do not result in antibiotic resistance, it qualifies that claim in its document “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” by stating that these methods should be used “where such technologies are available and demonstrated to be safe.”[1] This is certainly no mandate. It is merely a suggestion that will most likely be completely ignored by industry.

The Guidelines then go on to say that “Gene transfer from plants and their food products to gut micro-organisms or human cells is considered a rare possibility because of the many complex and unlikely events that would need to occur consecutively.”[2] This statement stands in direct contradiction to established science.[3] Indeed, the series of events that would have to transpire in order for the transfer of modified genes from a plant to human DNA or cells are neither unlikely nor rare.
In a footnote to this statement, Codex makes the claim “In cases where there are high levels of naturally occurring bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotic, the likelihood of such bacteria transferring the resistance to other bacteria will be orders of magnitude higher than the likelihood of transfer between ingested foods and bacteria.”[4] Yet while this may in fact be true the statement is still misleading. The issue being discussed in the footnoted statement is the likelihood of DNA transfer from GM plants to humans. Furthermore, if such events were so unlikely, why would it be important not to use antibiotic resistant gene technology in the future?

Another concern presented in the section of “Foods Derived From Moderin Biotechnology” dealing with GM plants is the question of potential allergens being created within the food products as well as the introduction of entirely new allergens that have never before existed in nature.

While Codex claims that “all newly expressed proteins” as well as “a protein new to the food supply” should be tested for safety, there are legitimate questions as to whether or not Codex has the ability or the desire to test for such possibilities. [5]

First, while it is quite possible to know what foods occurring naturally are allergenic, it is much more difficult to come to these conclusions about new substances or proteins. This is partly due to the fact that naturally occurring materials have so many millions of years of history and use which, in itself, tends to naturally weed out the allergenic foods from the non-allergenic ones in a population’s diet. GM products do not have this history.

Indeed, the idea that over time a population tends to form its own guidelines through natural process adds to the ease in which scientific inquiry may form knowledge of the food properties in relation to the population itself. Again, this is not the case with GM food.

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Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines, Pt. 8

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom

 

Available Here

 

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In the course of the recent article series I have written regarding Codex Alimentarius and its position on Genetically Modified (GM) food, I have criticized both the “risk assessment” method of GM food evaluation as well as the official position of Codex Alimentarius in regards to the “substantial equivalence” standards. I have also written about the very real possibility of the introduction of new allergens and antibiotic resistant bacteria into the general food supply.

However, up to this point, all of the problems with the Codex Guidelines mentioned have been in relation to the section of the Codex GM position document known as “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” which focuses on GM plants.

There are, accordingly, two more sections – one dealing with GM Micro-Organisms and the other dealing with GM animals.

However, while it may seem that the majority of criticism expressed thus far focuses more attention on the first section (GM plants), the fact is that all three sections are very similar in their language and directives, with only a few changes in the wording made to apply to the new topic.

In many of these sections the language is word for word, copied and pasted to reiterate the same purpose as the first section. Therefore, I will not repeat my criticisms of the second and third sections that have appeared in my criticism of the GM Plants section. Suffice to say that all of the problems existing in the GM Plant section exist in the GM Micro-Organism and GM Animal sections as well, namely those of questionable scientific practices, the ignoring of relevant data, and so on. This claim is easily verifiable by reading the Guidelines document cited in the footnotes.

With that said, some attention should be paid to the section entitled, “Guideline For The Conduct Of Food Safety Assessment Of Foods Produced Using Recombinant-DNA Micro-Organisms.” This section deals mainly with bacteria, yeasts, and certain types of fungi in their uses in food production.

While making many of the same admissions present in the GM plant Guidelines, one of the most startling statements made regarding GM micro-organisms is the admission that they can in fact survive digestion.

Codex says, “In some processed foods, they [GM micro-organisms] can survive processing and ingestion and can compete and, in some cases, be retained in the intestinal environment for significant periods of time.”[1]

While this statement is not revolutionary, it is quite surprising to see it uttered by Codex Alimentarius, an organization that seems to go to great lengths to approve GM products.

Nevertheless, the fact that these micro-organisms can survive digestion is extremely important to the GMO safety debate. So are the questions of rDNA retention in the intestinal tract, the potential for changing the intestinal flora of those consuming the GM product, and the subsequent effects on the immune system.

These are all concerns that Codex tacitly admits the existence of, simply by acknowledging the need to test them.[2] Yet the tendency of GM micro-organisms to survive digestion and begin to change the makeup of the human intestines is mentioned later, in a footnote, where it is stated quite openly,

Permanent life-long colonization by ingested micro-organisms is rare. Some orally administered micro-organisms have been recovered in feces or in the colonic mucosa weeks after feeding ceased. Whether the genetically modified micro-organism is established in the gastrointestinal tract or not, the possibility remains that it might influence the microflora or the mammalian host.[3]

It should be noted that the idea that “life-long colonization by ingested micro-organisms is rare”[4] is highly contested by many independent scientists.[5] Yet, even if one were to assume the truth of Codex’s statement, the fact that it is rare means that it is still possible. More importantly, the statement admits that, even without long-term residence in the intestinal tract, there is still the distinct possibility that it will still significantly affect the intestinal flora and likewise the host itself.

Still more obviously biased concerns exist in the subsection dealing with the information that should be provided on each of the DNA modifications or micro-organisms. This information is, for the most part, very basic. It contains such data as which genes are added, the number of insertion sites, etc. However, two sources of information that are required to be included cause some concern.

The first is the inclusion of the “identification of any open reading frames within inserted DNA or created by the modifications to contiguous DNA in the chromosome or in a plasmid, including those that could result in fusion proteins.”[6]

The second is the “particular reference to any sequences known to encode, or to influence the expression of, potentially harmful functions.”[7]

Yet, both of these expressions (fusion proteins and genes that express harmful functions) are considered potentially dangerous even under the weak Codex standards. These expressions refer to the ability of some proteins to fuse with other proteins of the same and other species, mutating the DNA of the species, or forcing it to produce potentially adverse effects. Neither of these characteristics should be present in food, yet Codex mandates only that they be reported, not removed, as a result of the testing. This appears to be a continual thread of Codex’s Guidelines.

Thus, Codex continues by saying that additional information should be provided

to demonstrate whether the arrangement of the modified genetic material has been conserved or whether significant rearrangements have occurred after the introduction to the cell and propagation of the recombinant strain to the extent needed for its use(s) in food production, including those that may occur during its storage according to current techniques;[8]

as well as

to demonstrate whether deliberate modifications made to the amino acid sequence of the expressed protein result in changes in its post-translational modification or affect sites critical for its structure or function;[9]

While reporting information related to the instances above might seem like a good idea (and certainly few would argue that it isn’t), simple reporting is not enough. Indeed, these issues, as well as the others mentioned in this section of the Guidelines, are related directly to the question of the stability of genetically modified organisms. This is mentioned briefly in this section of the Guidelines, most notably in a footnote where it says,

Microbial genes are more fluid than those of higher eukaryotes; that is, the organisms grow faster, adapt to changing environments, and are more prone to change. Chromosomal rearrangements are common. The general genetic plasticity of micro-organisms may affect recombinant DNA in micro-organisms and must be considered in evaluating the stability of recombinant DNA micro-organisms.[10]

It is clear that GM organisms are often dangerously unstable. Many of them carry genes that overproduce a certain characteristic, cannot be turned off, or simply begin to change even after it has been bonded to the new strain of DNA.

Yet, with all of these admissions by Codex as to the dangers that GM micro-organisms pose to those who consume them as well as the fact that GM DNA is often unpredictable, the Codex Guidelines recommendations for testing suggest that these micro-organisms should be assessed based upon tests conducted on the conventional counterpart, not the micro-organism itself.

If tests conclude that the questionable micro-organisms are removed or rendered non-toxic in their individual and natural states, then “viability and residence of micro-organisms in the alimentary system need no examination.”[11]

Read Full Article Here

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Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines, Pt. 9

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In my last article entitled, “Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines Pt.8”, I detailed the Codex Alimentarius position regarding Genetically Modified (GM) Micro-Organisms. Similarly, in several of the articles I have written recently, I have also discussed the Codex position on GM plants and other GM organisms.

Yet, no analysis of the Codex Alimentarius positions on GM food and/or organisms would be complete without a discussion of the Codex position on GM animals.

Indeed, the “Guideline For The Conduct Of Food Safety Assessment Of Foods Derived From Recombinant-DNA Animals,” a subsection of the Codex document “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” is as interesting for the concerns that it does not address as for the ones that it does. Largely a copied and pasted version of the two sections before it, (“Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment of foods derived from recombinant-dna plants” and “Guideline for the conduct of food safety assessment Of foods produced using recombinant-dna micro-organisms”) the GM animal Guidelines does not address some very key issues such as:

1.) Animal welfare
2.) Ethical, moral and socio-economic aspects
3.) Environmental risks related to the environmental release of recombinant-DNA animals used in food production
4.) The safety of recombinant-DNA animals used as feed, or the safety of animals fed with feed derived from recombinant-DNA animals, plants and micro-organisms.[1]

As can be easily seen, these issues are extremely important in their own right. Just the moral issues, in addition to the hazards of the potential of GM animals being released into the environment, are enough to fill volumes. However, Codex chooses not to deal with these issues in its Guidelines.
With that being said, because Codex treats GM animals essentially the same as GM plants, there is very little difference in the guidelines. This shows a lack of scientific zeal as animals are fundamentally different than plants.

Yet one area where Codex does address a different aspect of the GM safety question is related to veterinary drug residues. It says,

Some recombinant-DNA animals may exhibit traits that may result in the potential for altered accumulation or distribution of xenobiotics (e.g. veterinary drug residues, metals), which may affect food safety. Similarly, the potential for altered colonization by and shedding of human pathogens or new symbiosis with toxin-producing organisms in the recombinant-DNA animal could have an effect on food safety.[2]

With its implicit admission of the instability of modified genes, Codex now also admits that these genes, when changed in animals, could affect the distribution and retention of veterinary drugs and other substances which would necessarily change the content of the food product derived from that animal. As Codex states, this same situation could also apply to human pathogens as well as veterinary drugs.

As a side note, it appears that 2007-2008 was a very beneficial year for GMO food producers. Not only were the pro-GM testing Guidelines approved by Codex, but many countries, such as the European Union who had been opposed to the introduction of GM food up to this point, began changing their position to one that was slightly more open to GMO.

For instance, in 2008, Codex Alimentarius approved Guidelines that would allow low levels of GM products that have not been approved by the countries’ regulatory agencies inside products that are imported into the country. This would include products like grain, corn, and oats. Codex claims that this set of standards merely recognizes the fact that GM products will inadvertently mix with non-GM products during processing and transportation and that it means to provide guidance in this unavoidable situation.[3]

However, this presupposes that GM contamination of food shipments is unavoidable when in fact just the opposite is the case. If GM products were not used to begin with, the entire issue would not need to be addressed.

Read Full Article Here

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Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Over the last few weeks, I have written a number of articles dealing with the dangers of the methods of analyzing the risks of Genetically Modified (GM) food used by both Codex Alimentarius and the FDA known as “substantial equivalence/substantial similarity” and the “risk assessment methodology used in the evaluation process. In conjunction with the Codex document “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” the Codex position on the evaluation and labeling of GM food, I described the hypocrisy of Codex’s position towards vitamin and mineral supplements and its position in regards to GM food which is, interestingly enough, one hundred and eighty degrees different.

However, there are even more dangers to using the “substantial equivalence/substantial similarity” model in conjunction with the “risk assessment” evaluation methodology in terms of GM food.
Indeed, there exists a very real possibility that the Codex position on GM food as well as vitamin and mineral supplements will be used to develop a food system in which GM food is the only acceptable form of food allowed in the supply, while any other food may be removed from the market. In addition, it is entirely possible that once the standards are set by Codex and agreed upon by nations participating in the WTO, that foods containing high levels (or reasonable levels) of nutrition could be removed from the market simply on the basis of their high nutritional content.

For instance, the damage to the food supply does not end with the introduction of GM foods. In addition, because Codex standards are enforced by the WTO, the Maximum Permitted Levels for vitamin and minerals developed by Codex will remain in place.

So, because the risk assessment for GM food based on “substantial equivalence” will inevitably determine the GM food itself to be safe, the problem then becomes the nutritional value within the food.
The nutrition then becomes the enemy and must be removed.

While this might seem both improbable and impossible, it is, in fact, neither.

The seeming improbability of a Codex declaration of nutrients as toxins has already been realized and the genetic manipulation of the nutritional properties of food is not an impossibility at all.

While the cover story for the introduction of GM food often involves the alleged wish to bring about the end of malnutrition by increasing nutritional properties of the food genetically (a blatant contradiction if one accepts that nutrients should be treated as toxins), the ability to decrease nutrition through genetic modification is just as realistic.

We then have a situation where nutritionally deficient GM food is not only allowed, but required due to the “dangerous” amount of vitamins and minerals that exist in the natural food. Codex even admits later on in the Guidelines that nutrients will be focused on rather than the dangers of the GM food. It says,

To assess the safety of a food derived from a recombinant-DNA plant modified for a nutritional or health benefit, the estimated intake of the nutrient or related substance in the population(s) is compared with the nutritional or toxicological reference values, such as upper levels of intake, acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) for that nutrient or related substance.[1]

The question then is not the safety of the GM food, but of the amount of vitamins and nutrients included in it.

Continuing through the Guidelines, such a statement is cleverly made. It says, “Rather than trying to identify every hazard associated with a particular food, the intention of a safety assessment of food derived from recombinant-DNA is the identification of new or altered hazards relative to the conventional counterpart.”[2] Not only is this an extremely limiting set of standards for assessing the safety of the product, what is actually meant by “hazard”, although not explicitly stated, is nutrients.

This is made even clearer in the next paragraph which states, “Upper levels of intake for many nutrients that have been set out by some national, regional and international bodies may be considered, as appropriate. The basis for their derivation should also be considered in order to assess the public health implications of exceeding these levels.”[3] Clearly, nutrients are the focus of much of the risk assessment methods applied to GM food.

This may initially cause some GM food products to be rejected by Codex due to the higher level of nutritional properties being produced. That is, until the food is modified once again to have a lower nutritional value. When seen in this light, it becomes obvious that many of the Codex Guidelines are intertwined with one another. However, none are more important than those related to vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

 

Read Full Article Here

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In my last article, “Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines Pt.4,” I discussed a tangible, real-world example of the results of using “substantial equivalence” or “substantial similarity” when assessing the dangers of Genetically Modified (GM) food and/or approving that food for the market.

Returning to the defining Codex document in relation to GM food, “Food Derived From Modern Biotechnology,” it should be noted that the risks associated with GMOs are dealt with in a rather curious manner. Indeed, the monitoring and management of risks from GM food after their approval is mentioned rather blandly in the introductory section of the Guidelines. It says,

Post market-monitoring may be undertaken for the purpose of:

A.) Verifying conclusions about the absence or the possible occurrence, impact and significance of potential consumer health effects; and

B.) Monitoring changes in nutrient intake levels, associated with the introduction of foods likely to alter nutritional status significantly, to determine their human health impact. [1]

It should be noted that these are issues which should be resolved in a scientific setting prior to market. Yet Codex is obviously content to allow the public to act as lab rats in the real world rather than force these side effects to be addressed in an actual lab. Absolute disregard for the global population is evident here.

As will be discussed in future articles, when one understands the ultimate purpose of Codex Alimentarius, it becomes clear as to why policies like this emanate from the organization. Such is also the case when Codex mentions the management of risks finding their way into the market and the need for post-market tracing for the purpose of recall.[2] It is important to note that tracing food materials is a difficult task, especially if those products have already found their way into the environment and have begun to reproduce.
Regardless, the second chapter of Codex’s “Foods Derived From Modern Biotechnology” makes what should be considered a revelatory admission. It says,

The Codex principles of risk analysis, particularly those for risk assessment, are primarily intended to apply to discrete chemical entities, such as food additives and pesticide residues, or a specific chemical or microbial contaminant that have identifiable hazards and risks; they are not intended to apply to whole foods as such.[3]

Essentially, this is an admission that risk assessment methodology is absolutely incapable and inappropriate when dealing with the safety of a whole food. As Codex makes clear, the principles for risk assessment were never intended to address anything other than chemicals and additives.

However, one should remember that risk assessment is indeed the method used to determine the safety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals by Codex Alimentarius in order to label them unsafe at unreasonably low levels.

But Codex continues with even further admission that the testing methods used are not nearly as intense as one might think. The document reads,

Traditionally, new varieties of food plants have not been systematically subjected to extensive chemical, toxicological or nutritional evaluation prior to marketing, with the exception of foods for specific groups, such as infants, where the food may constitute a substantial portion of the diet. Thus, new varieties of corn, soybean, potatoes and other common food plants are evaluated by breeders for agronomic and phenotypic characteristics, but generally, foods derived from such new plant varieties are not subjected to the rigorous and extensive food safety testing procedures, including studies in animals, that are typical of chemicals, such as food additives or pesticide residues, that may be present in food.[4]

Simply put, Codex is admitting, albeit cleverly, that the testing method for whole foods is inadequate, and that the testing itself is not nearly as extensive as it would be for evaluating a known toxin like a chemical, pesticide, or apparently, vitamins and minerals.

As related to Codex’s position on vitamins and minerals, Codex considers genetically modified foods that have been engineered to produce a deadly chemical or pesticide to be a whole food, but vitamin C is considered a toxin.

Yet Codex does not stop here with the prefacing of their intended deceit and the admission of flawed and manipulated science. It says,

Animal studies cannot be readily applied to testing the risks associated with whole foods, which are complex mixtures of compounds, often characterized by a wide variation in composition and nutritional value. Owing to their bulk and effect on satiety, they can usually only be fed to animals at low multiples of the amounts that might be present in the human diet. In addition, a key factor to consider in conducting animal studies on foods is the nutritional value and balance of the diets used; this is in order to avoid the induction of adverse effects that are not related directly to the material itself. Detecting any potential adverse effects and relating these conclusively to an individual characteristic of the food can, therefore, be extremely difficult. If the characterization of the food indicates that the available data are insufficient for a thorough safety assessment, properly designed animal studies could be requested on the whole foods. Another consideration in deciding the need for animal studies is whether it is appropriate to subject experimental animals to such a study if it is unlikely to give rise to meaningful information.[5]

But there are several problems with this statement.

First, let it be made clear that this writer does not support the use of animals for laboratory testing for any reason.

However, this issue is not the focus of this article and it will be repeatedly referred to in its proper context in terms of scientific debate.

That being said, what Codex has admitted to in this statement, albeit subtly, is that test subjects will actually be fed significantly less of the GM food in question than exists in the standard human diet. Nowhere does Codex mention that the amount fed to the test subjects can be adjusted per capita, but simply that the amount fed to them will be “at low multiples of the amounts that might be present in the human diet.”[6]

Furthermore, Codex attempts to convince the reader that because of differences in nutritional values and diet balance in the animals being tested it is extremely difficult to determine if there are any adverse effects resulting from the material being tested or another material/condition. Hence, Codex would have the reader believe that this problem could not be solved by the addition of a control group.

In the end, the overall conclusion of Codex is that testing GM foods is largely unproductive and that, for the most part, it should only be conducted in very special circumstances. Mere post-market tracking is looked upon as the most favorable route. This, however, leaves the consumer as the test subject, and corrective action can only be taken after it is too late for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.

Codex furthers this claim with an admission of its acceptance of “substantial equivalence” as a testing standard. Because of the problems associated with using risk assessment to address dangers in whole foods (but evidently not nutrients and vitamins), Codex claims it must rely on substantial equivalence to address intended and unintended changes in the food. Hence, Codex officially accepts the concept. [7]

 

Read  Full Article Here

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom 

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In my last article regarding Codex Alimentarius Guidelines on Genetically Modified food, I discussed the dangerous concept used by both the international organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) known as substantial equivalence/substantial similarity and how this method of comparison and evaluation can and is being used to further the proliferation of GM food in the world’s food supply.

In discussing the method used to evaluate the safety of GM food, I wrote,

If Codex is willing to accept the safety assessments of regulatory agencies without independent testing of its own and regulatory agencies are willing to accept the safety assessments of corporations without independent testing of their own, then Codex is willing to accept the safety assessments of corporations without independent safety testing of their own. Indeed, this syllogism adequately reflects the reality of the relationship between Codex, corporations, and the future of GM foods.

Furthermore, in regards to the “substantial equivalence” methodology mentioned above, I concluded the article by stating,

Allowing GM products to be compared to other GM products for substantial equivalence is an enormous blow to the environment, human health, and consumer choice. Such an action would completely undercut the already weak and ridiculous method of substantial equivalence and would turn the entire nature of our food supply upside down. One would be comparing a dangerous product to another dangerous product but labeling it safe because it was substantially equivalent to the first dangerous product.

Like the situation involving vitamins and minerals, this is the Twilight Zone reality produced by Codex once it gains power of the food supply.

Unfortunately, this potential concern is now an imminent one because Monsanto has in fact submitted an application for a GM corn called LY038. In its submission for approval, Monsanto provided the regulators’ assessing the product with information comparing LY038 with another GM corn product called LY038 (-), another GM corn product.[1]
True to form, in many of the pro-GM countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, the Philippines, and South Korea, the LY038 corn was approved based upon the method of using a GM corn as a conventional counterpart.[2] The United States, being the most open to GM food, and only requiring voluntary submission, has also approved LY038 for cultivation.[3]

Thankfully, the Monsanto agenda stalled in the European Union, and in 2009 Monsanto withdrew its application for the product in Europe.[4] This is largely due to a small group of relatively independent scientists from the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety (INBI) out of New Zealand who brought out many risks evident from a close reading of the Monsanto application dossiers.

As a result of their work, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requested additional research and safety data. That was all that was needed in order to cause Monsanto to withdraw its application for LY038 use in Europe.[5]

Monsanto claimed that the reason for the removal of its submission purely economical and that “although our preference would have been to complete the EU approval of LY038, conducting further studies, as requested [by the EFSA GMO Panel], can no longer be justified, in view of the additional costs involved and the reduced commercial interest in this product.”[6]

However, those who are aware of Monsanto’s track record have a different take. In a statement made to Biosafety Information Centre, Prof. Jack Heinemann, who led the INBI research team, summed up the situation succinctly.

 

Read Full Article Here

Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom

Available Here

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Over the last two years, I have written extensively about the Codex Alimentarius guidelines and how they relate specifically to vitamin and mineral supplements, food irradiation, and the use of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH).

I have also detailed the history and workings of the international organization as well as many of the current day to day manifestations of Codex guidelines as they appear in domestic policy.

However, there is yet another area in which Codex guidelines will play a major role in the development of food policy – namely, the proliferation of Genetically Modified Food.

The Codex committee that serves as the main battleground for the consideration of GM food is the Codex Committee on Food Labeling. This committee is extremely relevant due to the fact that it can effectively reduce the power of the consumer to virtually nothing if it decides not to force companies or countries to label their GM food, thus removing the ability of the consumer to boycott and/or avoid those products. While it is well-known that public sentiment is unimportant to those at the top, governments and corporations tend to pay more attention when votes and sales reflect that sentiment. However, if Codex continues on its’ way to allowing unlabelled GM food onto the international market, the repercussions of consumer reaction will be entirely neutralized.

A brief discussion of the history of Codex in terms of GM food is necessary here to understand the direction that the organization is moving towards in regards to it.

For most of the seventeen years that Codex member countries have debated the safety of genetic modification of the food supply, the result has been little or no progress for one side or the other.

In 1993, at the behest of the Codex Commission, the CCFL agreed to begin working on the labeling aspect of GM food. Interestingly enough, the CCFL asked the United States, the country that was the most militant in its support of genetic modification, to develop a paper that would guide the committee’s discussion at the following session. When this session arrived, there was a flurry of opinions tossed around from several different countries. The most sensible position was that all GM foods should be labeled under any circumstances. Yet other countries, especially the pro-Gm ones, argued that labeling should only be required when there is the introduction of health or safety concerns, allergens, or when the food is significantly different from its traditional counterpart.[1] This is a debate that largely continues until this day.
The concept of “substantial equivalence” versus “process-based” labeling has also become one of the most hotly contested issues within the Codex GM food labeling debate. Process-based labeling simply means that the driving factor behind the labeling guidelines is the process by which the food is created, grown, or otherwise produced. Therefore, the qualifying factor for labeling GM food would be the process of genetic modification itself, forcing all GM food to be labeled as such. This is essentially the mandatory labeling of all GM food. When this concept was first introduced in 2001, it was supported by such countries as the European Union, India, and Norway. Its staunchest opponents, of course, were the United States and Canada.[2] Although this method of labeling standards was by far the most sensible if one were concerned about food safety and consumer rights of choice, it has been all but abandoned since the brief discussion at its introduction. The attention then has necessarily turned to the competing set of standards known as “substantial equivalence.”

“Substantial equivalence” guidelines are by far the most onerous means by which to label GM food outside of the scheme of voluntary labeling (such as what Canada has already pushed for).[3]

This set of standards not only provides loopholes through which GM food may enter the food supply, but also opens the door to total acceptance of GM food absolutely free of labeling. The idea behind the substantial equivalence labeling method is that the GM food will be compared to its conventional counterpart in terms of safety and composition.[4]

The food would then only require a label if it was found that there was a substantial difference between the GM product and the natural food or there were an introduction of a common allergen through the process of genetic modification. While at first it may seem that there is a legitimate consideration of safety under these principles, such an impression is far from the truth.

Several problems exist with the concept of substantial equivalence. First, as is often the case with government and bureaucratic initiatives, the semantics of the term “substantial equivalence” leaves the door open to the possible acceptance of virtually all GM food. While I will discuss this aspect further in future articles where the accepted Codex guidelines for testing GM food is mentioned, brief mention is still required early on in order to understand the dangers of the use of this labeling standard.

 

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Something that  this article does not touch on ,  however  I would like to bring to your attention.   Just in case you still think this is not being done with  nefarious intent and special interests  are not  at  play.  Please go to the Codex Alimentarius  site   specific for food additives.  

Here you will find a list  and a complete breakdown of the foods that  are permitted to  be used in accordance to Codex Alimentarius guidelines.

Click on  Aspartame 

see the list  of  960 food items that will be permitted to contain Aspartame.  If you do the same with  Aspartame-acesulfame salt

you will find an additional list  of  962 foods that will also contain  this additive as  approved for use by Codex .  Most of  us know the ramifications that come with the ingestion of Apartame.  according to the Codex Alimentarius it will be permissible to add to a total of 1922 foods according to their very own lists. Most of  which  have nothing to do with an alternative for diabetics who cannot consume sugar.

Still think this is just  another conspiracy  theory?

So  tell me who do you think they  serve?

Who’s welfare do you honestly think they represent? 

Since when does a body of the UN dictate what Sovereign Nations must do with the foods their citizens eat?

Is approving known carcinogens and neuro-toxins for use as food additives in the  best  interest of the people?

Who signed this agreement in the  name of the American People?

When were we consulted on this matter?

Desert Rose

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TheSleuthJournal

Codex Alimentarius is a UN-sponsored concept and organization, which – under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – creates food standards and guidelines used in international trade. In 1994, the World Trade Organization (WTO) replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) with actual trade-sanction power to enforce Codex and other standards and guidelines. Not surprisingly, Codex took on an entirely new importance.

Now nearly 300 of us – Country delegates and International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_nongovernmental_organization) – were involved in Germany this December in a playoff where inches of dry but crucial script would gain the yardage of victory or bitter defeat. This was the 34th session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), alias “Malnutrition Meeting,” in frigid Bad Soden, Germany the first week of December 2012, where the National Health Federation sought to make its own gains and preserve our health freedoms.

In this innocuous meeting room at the Ramada Inn, play by play, line by line, either the “ball” is moving forward, backward, or it’s being passed or kicked into oblivion without regard to any real goal in a last-ditch effort to get rid of it before being tackled. In this case, for the majority of the represented World, ‘tackled’ was a voluntary fumble, “When is it break time? Let’s just agree with the provided wording and get a cup of coffee.” You have to realize the World doesn’t often enjoy what the United States takes completely for granted, in this case, safe, high-quality supplements in abundance.

In a worst case scenario, Codex is rigged and we merely delay the inevitable passage of their ultimate will. It takes a skillful operator – in this case Dr. Pia Noble (what a misnomer…) – who can lead the room and in clearly balanced opposition somehow convince or cow the country delegates into believing there is actually consensus. That’s how Codex operates: by consensus. We don’t vote unless pushed. The World must agree, must cooperate…however, what I witnessed at this session of the CCNFSDU was clearly, in legal terms, “leading” and manipulating the room to the wishes of three strong forces: the U.S., Australia, and, of course, Chairwoman Dr. Pia (anything but) Noble.

At Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “Food Code”), the plays are read, line by line, and debated on by a World that doesn’t necessarily even accept certain principles in their daily life – like taking supplements. As a Nutritional Therapist, this was my meeting. I had to be there. Thankfully a few staunch supporters made sure that happened.

In the case of this particular Codex meeting held in Bad Soden, the ball was in jeopardy of being punted into oblivion when we hit the discussion of Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs). Was there anyone out of the nearly 300 delegates who really cared at all about the issues that will impact you when you go to the health-food store this coming year? This was my second Codex meeting and I could see clearly that the paragraphs dedicated to the discussion of our NRVs were in danger of being accepted as written and set into stone around the World, all in favor of just getting to the coffee break, and I mean that literally.

You have to understand, United States citizens enjoy unprecedented access to supplements with values that actually have the power to prevent disease or heal ill health – the rest of the World either does not use supplements, believing they are toxic – like drugs – or the nutrient reference values (RDAs) are so low that multiple bottles would have to be purchased at great expense to create the impact that one good U.S. bottle creates, or they simply don’t have them because no one could afford them when their healthcare system provides “free” drugs as an alternative.

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