EU DIrectives & Codex Alimentarius in Layman's Terms
written for the National Health Federation
EU Supplements Directive
This EU Directive came into force in January 2010 in a bid to control what is regarded as ‘safe upper limits’ of potencies (or strengths) of supplements that are available to us. The levels that have been suggested are extremely low and are of no benefit to our health. This Directive has failed to have an impact as yet and this is due to the failure to agree on these so-called ‘safe upper limits’.
EU Directive for Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products
This EU Directive is now in force as from 1st May 2011. There is much confusion and ambiguity regarding the effects of this directive but many therapists, practitioners, re-sellers and personal users of natural herbal products are now worried about the future availability of these products.
Current stocks of natural and herbal supplements are still allowed to be sold just until the stocks are gone or the best before date reached. However to obtain further stocks, re-sellers and importers will need to register the product in order to sell it. This will require similar expensive testing that is required of pharmaceutical drugs making this much too expensive for the most.
Although some herbs have left our market, many herbs are still be OK to be sold as long as there are no medical or health claims made – which is fine for those of us who know about them, but not so good for people to educate themselves and make informed choices on how they manage their health. For this reason, we are unable to expand too much on any health benefits of our products, particularly those taken orally.
It is still unclear how much impact this will continue to have – my suggestion is to stock up on your essential supplements and herbs, even look into growing your own. I believe self-sufficiency is the answer here if that is possible. I understand that future implications of further legislation may try to take our right to grow our own away – but if millions of us are doing it maybe we would make it impossible to police?
EU Nutrition & Health Claims Directive
This EU Directive was agreed in 2006 but came into full force on the 1st June 2012, allowing companies a 6 month grace period to remove all their unapproved health claims and bring their information in line with the new legislation. The Directive states that any health information given on a product must only be those statements on the approved list. Of the 2037 health claims submitted, only 241 to date have been approved. It is complete control over what we are allowed to say about a product. At present it is just the likely candidates with very soft wording that are allowed, for example, “iron contributes to normal function of red blood cells”. Many of the more unusual products have not even been submitted, and in true EU law style (ie guilty until proven innocent), the claims have to be removed until they are approved. Furthermore, to submit a claim for approval the EU requires expensive and extensive scientific and technical support for the claim which most independent health shops and natural health suppliers will be unable to supply.
At EU level there is not much that can be done, however we can contact our MPs, MEPs, councillors, etc to show our discontent and concern.It is worth signing as many petitions as possible (bear in mind some may be set up by controlled opposition to act as comfort blankets) however there is not much really that can be done for the long term as the driving force behind this Directive is a global entity entitled Codex Alimentarius Commission. There are petitions on Facebook, Avaaz.org, and many other websites across the web. We can make our voices known but not really have any long term impact on the outcome. Even if the Directive was overthrown we then have to contend with Codex. The long term plan could therefore be to fight Codex but there is more we can do NOW (see below)!
This term actually means Food Code and the commission was set up in the early 60s in an attempt to control anything that enters our mouths, or the mouths of animals that we use for food. The commission is made of an unelected representative (or bureaucrat) from each country and various other delegates from other corporations and organisations, many of which have corrupt Pharmaceutical, Agribusiness, Biochemical and BioTechnical interests.
The National Health Federation won a delegate position at the turn of the millenium as an unbiased health freedom and consumer education organisation. To this day they remain the ONLY unbiased organisation that is concerned with our health freedom. The Commission is run by the World Health Organisation, The Food and Agricultural Organisation and more recently the World Trade Organisation. To begin with the commission just set up a load of guidelines, but since the WTO became involved many non-compliant countries are having to deal with heavy penalisation which will eventually force them to become compliant with their guidelines.
At present the EU is not ‘Codex compliant’ but the WTO are fining us 150 million Euros per year for not importing genetically modified meat from Canada, and with this figure rising every year we will soon be forced to comply. Obviously the aim is to get all countries to comply (originally this goal was set for before April 2012, but it appears they were unsuccessful at this for now).
In the EU a great distraction is now in place with the EU Directives that have come into force in recent years: the Supplements Directive in January 2010 and the Directive for Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products in May 2011. Now many therapists, re-sellers and users of natural products are far too busy campaigning to get these directives overthrown and all the while Codex is creeping in through the back door.
If you inform any MP or MEP about Codex they will generally come back with a reply such as “nothing to worry about as it is just a set of optional guidelines”. But this is what they are told, and they are not told the underhand way in which we are being forced into this. But by contacting these people who are meant to work for us, we are telling them we are not happy.
So what can we do?
The natural health industry could eventually be driven underground without any regulation or quality assurance as many people will refuse to bow to pharmaceutical products and synthetic remedies. But if we can channel our energies in following the only path that can actually work –the only path that can attack the belly of the beast – maybe there is hope after all.
As consumers we can choose to not vote for these corporations who control us by growing our own food, or at least sourcing our products locally, we can buy from reputable independent companies, take control of our own health, know your basic human and common law rights and let them work for you. We can overthrow these corporations by taking back the power they have taken from us. Empower yourself and protect yourself and your family.
Every pound we spend is a vote for that company or corporation. Every time we visit a shop we are voting for that shop. Stop voting for the things you don’t want and start concentrating on what you do want! Realise that we all hold the power to choose our future. Protect your health with high quality supplements, do not have vaccines, avoid pharmaceutical drugs which can compromise your immunity, reduce your stress, happiness is a fantastic cure! We don’t have to be what they dictate we should be!
You can help the NHF by joining them at their website: www.thenhf.com