In 2005, the Codex nutrition committee approved a highly restrictive guideline on vitamin and mineral supplements that very closely parallels the European Food Supplements Directive, in spite of significant opposition from various countries including South Africa, China, India, and representatives from many countries’ health freedom organizations. An important point worth remembering is that there is only one health freedom organisation with official status (‘observer status’) at Codex; it’s the US-based, National Health Federation (NHF). The NHF was established in 1955 and is the longest standing health freedom organisation in the world. The organisation, under the leadership of lawyer Scott Tips, was successful in its application for observer status at Codex in 2002. Every health freedom organization that has applied since has been rejected.
With no effort to disguise the Codex guideline’s origins, it boldly shares whole tracts of text with the European Directive. In fact, concern was even expressed by the World Health Organisation. Countries that had indicated concern have all been reassured that following Codex guidelines within national laws is voluntary and, should any country disagree with the guideline on vitamin and mineral food supplements, that country will be perfectly free to implement its own laws that are out of step with Codex. Many commentators close to Codex, such as Dr Robert Verkerk, executive and scientific director of the ANH, say this is a clever trick to get countries to tow the party line of Codex. Verkerk says, “They are never told about the consequences of not dancing to the Codex tango. You are then at the hands of Codex’s international policeman, the World Trade Organization. And that can be seriously bad news unless you’ve got some magical way of handling huge fines and trade sanctions.”