SOURCE: Alliance of Natural Health

July 04, 2005 02:00 ET

New Documentary Raises Important Questions on Codex Fairness and Multinational Interests

LONDON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 4, 2005 -- Delegates from 100 countries, together with representatives from an additional 30 non-governmental organisations begin six days of meetings at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome today, under the auspices of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex).

After some 10 years of negotiation, the delegates will be deciding whether to finalise the controversial guideline on vitamin and mineral food supplements that has been criticised by detractors as being based on flawed science and defective procedures.

A new documentary released today, narrated by Oscar and BAFTA winning British actress, Dame Judi Dench, known worldwide for her role as "M" in recent James Bond movies, raises serious questions about the basic fairness and potential impact of Codex -- and whether multinational corporations are angling for ultimate control of people's health the world over.

In concert with the most powerful governments in the world, including those of Europe and America, special interests appear keen to see the guideline finalised. Once ratified, the guideline is likely to become the global standard by which maximum permitted levels for vitamin and mineral food supplements are derived. Health activists fear that the levels will be set so low that doses of many vital nutrients that provide health benefits would be outlawed.

"We Become Silent," produced by International award-winning filmmaker, Kevin P. Miller, was released this week in an attempt to raise public awareness to the Codex Alimentarius Commission prior to the meeting in Rome from 4 July to 9 July. The documentary is set to be viewed by 25 million homes on U.S. cable TV alone. Thousands of people from 43 countries have already viewed the documentary over the Internet.

"We are urging as many people from all over the world, including the Codex delegates themselves, to watch the movie and think very seriously about what they will be voting for," stated Kevin Miller. "Most believe that the Codex guidelines are simply not ready for ratification. The real cost of depriving people of valuable nutrients has not been considered -- and there is no good reason why these guidelines should be approved without more public debate and input of further scientific information. This is, after all, an important human rights issue, one which will adversely impact tens of millions of people," he added.

"We Become Silent" can be seen at Alliance for Natural Health's website, www.alliance-natural-health.org -- or at www.WellTV.com

According to Dr. Robert Verkerk, executive director of the Alliance for Natural Health, saying 'no' to finalisation of the guideline has to be the only way forward. "It appears that the Codex guidelines for food supplements include faulty procedures that contradict Codex's own rules, as pointed out by the US-based National Health Federation, itself a Codex participant. Verkerk added, "we have also demonstrated that the risk assessment system being considered by Codex is scientifically flawed and we argue that the guideline should not be finalised until the independent risk assessment scientists at the Netherlands-based HAN Foundation publish their findings regarding scientifically valid risk assessment methods due in around 9 months."

Alliance for Natural Health supporters, including such noted celebrities as Dame Judi and Bianca Jagger, are very hopeful that countries like India, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and others, which have expressed serious reservations over the Codex guidelines, will be able to stimulate a consensus that will delay finalisation of the guidelines in Rome next week.

Please click here for Notes for editors: http://media.marketwire.com/attachments/200507/215444_NOTESFOREDITORS.doc

Contact Information

  • For enquiries and further information contact:

    ALLIANCE FOR NATURAL HEALTH

    Dr. Robert Verkerk
    Executive Director
    Alliance for Natural Health
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    Fax: +44 (0)845 280 4910
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    www.alliance-natural-health.org

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