The right to safe, clean, additive-free, pesticide-free, Non-GMO, non-irradiated, nutritious food and water is one of the most basic of all human rights, and yet as we speak, this right is being stolen from beneath our noses through the CODEX RULES, which are enforceable through provisions contained in the WTO and other so-called "free-trade" agreements, including NAFTA, CAFTA and others. The latest and most draconian of these "free" trade agreements is the TransPacific Partnership, or TPP, and the TTIP Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership, both still under discussion.
An understanding of Codex will provide insight into the problems associated with the various "harmonization and unification" clauses which are common to all these agreements:
Codex Alimentarius is an international code of food standards developed by an unelected commission created in 1962 by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It's purpose: to "harmonize" world food trade. The proposed rules under Codex seek, in a series of steps, to "regulate everything from farm to fork" throughout the world.
So it is no accident that the food and water section contained within these various trade agreements all contain the SPS (Sanitary Phytosanitary Measures) agreement. Article 3 of SPS states: "To harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, members SHALL base their food safety measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations." These guidelines in turn are formulated by the unelected Codex Commission.
One official statement on "harmonization" comes to us compliments of the Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition of the FDA : "The harmonization of laws, regulations and standards between and among trading partners requires intense, complex, time-consuming negotiations by CFSAN officials. Harmonization must simultaneously facilitate international trade and promote mutual understanding, while protecting national interests and establish a basis to resolve food issues on sound scientific evidence in an objective atmosphere. Failure to reach a consistent, harmonized set of laws, regulations and standards within the freetrade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreements can result in considerable economic repercussions."
Using past actions by the Codex Commission as a predictor, this essentially means that virtually all agricultural commodities, including livestock and fish, could eventually be genetically modified and patented to the extent possible; levels of hormones and pesticides will be increased rather than decreased; all meat and most foods will be irradiated at increasing levels; and our access to natural health remedies and supplements will be severely reduced, limited and costly. All of it scientifically justified, of course. Thus, as per its own website, any nation who is a member of the WTO and who may wish to apply stricter food safety measures than those set by Codex may be required to justify these measures scientifically.
Due in part to the undemocratic way in which the Codex Commission has been structured, Codex Regulations have nothing to do with protecting or promoting human health and everything to do with lining the pockets of multinational food and chemical corporations. Or as one journalist remarks in an article titled "The Fate of Vitamins" at a time when the fallout from the WTO was beginning to be resonate:
The Codex Commission is run by and for the interests of large industrial and financial enterprises, the WTO views "harmonization" of food standards as promoting "free trade." Unfortunately, free trade as conceptualized and actualized by the dominant WTO members (United States, European Union, Japan) is not about leveling the playing field so that small producers or underdeveloped countries can compete with the big guys. It is about ensuring that the most powerful corporations can continue to grow, eating up the small fish and expanding into new markets in both industrialized and industrializing economies. It is about maximizing the extraction of profit for stock-holders, as opposed to maximizing the health or economic well-being of a population.
The ultimate irony, some might say horror, of the situation is highlighted by looking at a joint report by the FAO/WHO issued in 2003, Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease. This impeccably researched, enormously valuable study—performed by other arms of the same organizations that administer Codex—finds that the health of Third World populations is being destroyed by importing the First World diet . . . This unhealthy diet, says the FAO/WHO, is spreading around the globe "like an infectious disease."
Of course, the WTO is not about to base trade rules on health issues. Rather, with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Third World markets are being inundated with fast and processed foodstuffs, even as their trade balances are undermined by the importation of meat, dairy, sugar and refined grain. In short, the natural economies serving billions of people are being turned to dust by transnational agribusiness, which, in taking over local food industries and promoting bad diet, cause the need for vitamin and mineral supplements to increase at the very moment that the population's ability to access natural pharmacopeias is being curtailed by Codex's profit-maximization scheme. The rise of diet-related chronic disease is good business for biotech corporations such as Cargill that sell food and food ingredients while positioning themselves to market cancer cures, cardiovascular drugs, and dietary food supplements.
This article explains how industry front groups, with names such as the International Food Additives Council, are created to dominate Codex discussions.
Join the fight against the TPP, and let you Congressman know how you feel about Codex, and our so-called "free" trade agreements.
TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
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