European High Court Ruling Endangers United States Wellness Industry, Strengthens CODEX Threat World Health Organization Urges Turnaround to Support Global Health.

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled yesterday that severe limitation of dosages of legally available vitamins and minerals could proceed as early as August 1 throughout the European Union despite the admirable history of nutrient safety and that other nutrient restictions would follow rapidly. Wellness industry advocates predict that up to 75% of all natural health items may become illegal in Europe on August 1, 2005. The ruling embodies the anti-nutrition stance of CODEX which was sharply challenged by the World Health Organziation during the CODEX meeting in Rome last week.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ), Europe's version of the US Supreme Court, yesterday ruled in favor of devastating restrictions on nutritional supplements which will have significant negative health effects across the European Union (EU). Ruling against those seeking to protect high potency nutrients as safe, effective, unregulated foods, the ECJ held that the European Food Supplements Directive (EFSD) is legal, does not violate human rights and may impose severe limits on types and dosages of vitamins and minerals Europe-wide starting August 1, 2005 in order to prevent any possible barriers to trade.

Because the ECJ stipulated that vitamins and minerals found in food may not be subject to the restrictions as previously stated by the EFSD, the EFSD may now allow ultra low doses of a small number of natural, as well as synthetic, vitamins and minerals. It still does not permit clinically meaningful dosages of these nutrients since permissible levels are determined through toxicology rather than biochemistry procedures.

The EFSD has been described repeatedly as the "future face of CODEX" by the Chairman of the relevant CODEX committee, Dr. Rolf Grossklaus. Both use Risk Assessment to limit exposure to nutrients (which are defined as toxins) despite the massive negative health consequences of requiring and legislating chronic under nutrition, as both the EFSD and CODEX Vitamin and Mineral Guideline do.

Although CODEX ALIMENTARIUS is a group of food and nutrient standards and has no legal weight, the EU membership in the World Trade Association (WTO), which accepts CODEX standards, means that CODEX exerts a massive force on its laws. The EFSD embodies the principles of the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Vitamin and Mineral Guideline (passed July 4 in Rome) which will create similar restrictions worldwide if unchecked.

Although the ECJ put some of the burden of proof of toxicity on the regulators, rather than the manufacturers of nutrients, since EFSD dosages were not brought into clinically effective ranges the net result was to strengthen the world-wide assault on natural medicine and the wellness industry through regulating bodies like the EFSD and CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission (CAC).

As part of that assault, last week, CAC passed (with US support and without any country dissenting) the pro-illness Vitamin and Mineral Guideline (VMG) which is strikingly similar to the EFSD because both use Risk Assessment, a branch of toxicology, rather than Nutritional Science, a branch of biochemistry, to determine nutrient dosage levels. Risk Assessment determines the Maximum Permissible Upper Limit of a toxic substance which can be given before any impact on the organism is noted. The result is nutrient doses which are so low that they have no impact on humans and result in chronic under nutrition and the degenerative diseases that result from that state.

Both CAC and EFSD make higher doses illegal with or without a doctor's prescription.

The ECJ ruling, which follows by only a few days the close of the anti-nutrition CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Commission's meeting in Rome last week, presents a significant threat to the American tradition of high potency dietary supplements despite the fact that the ECJ has no jurisdiction in the US. Ruling against a legal challenge by the UK's Alliance for Natural Health, the ECJ upheld the new rules which allow only those vitamins and minerals on an approved list, the so-called "Positive List" for use in supplements. Since this fits so neatly with the CODEX principles these two regulatory thrusts give added weight to the international and domestic pressure against nutritional medicine and the wellness industry which presents a major economic challenge to illness-care industries like Big Pharma.

In the US, consumers and natural healthcare practitioners make heavy use of supplements to prevent, treat and cure the chronic diseases of under-nutrition. Chronic degenerative diseases (i.e., cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and stroke, etc.) are well known to develop from nutrient restrictions or shortages like those imposed by the ultra low nutrient levels resulting from Risk Assessment techniques. These degenerative diseases can often be prevented, and well treated by, nutritional medicine. Nutritional preventive and clinical strategies will be illegal under both the EFSD (described as "the future face of CODEX") and the toxicology-based CODEX Vitamin and Mineral Guideline.

Noting that CODEX had “failed to make a contribution to health”, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) now require that CODEX develop a "relationship to nutrition" and implement the WHO Global Strategy for health. WHO and FAO chastised CODEX sharply at the close of its meeting in Rome last week, referring to the epidemic of the diseases caused by declining nutritional status of the world's population as a "non communicable epidemic" and called upon the CAC to alter its anti-nutrition stand in order "to make a positive impact on human health" for the first time in its 42 year history.

The United States supported the Vitamin and Mineral Guideline's anti-nutrition approach to supplementation and natural medicine practice (i.e., ultra low dose, ultra low potency nutrients which may not be used to prevent, treat and cure diseases).

Both the ECJ ruling and the CODEX Vitamin and Mineral Guideline are in sharp contrast to the US Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), passed unanimously by Congress in 1994, which classifies nutrients and herbs as foods which, by definition, can have no upper limit.

It is anticipated that the Wellness Industry in the United States will be negatively impacted by these two interlocking events unless forces in the US and abroad join together to support the US tradition of nutritional supplementation and the WHO/FAO focus on nutrition and health.

The Natural Solutions Foundation, , has taken a leadership role in creating legal and social action steps and working with Congress to help individuals and organizations become active and effective in supporting the US Wellness Industry, nutritional medicine and global health through domestic and international strategic initiatives.

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