The Alternative of Healthy Living

Clinical nutrition, nutritional therapy and plain old good nutritional management have long included using dosages of vitamins and minerals that are substantially higher than those typically found in the average, contemporary diet.

Our bodies’ requirement for higher dose supplements

The following set of precepts were formulated and published upon the founding of the British Society for Nutritional Medicine, now the British Society for Ecological Medicine, in June 1984 [1] and modified in the first issue of this journal in 1990, as follows.

  1. Man’s diet, even in industrialized societies, may have only a borderline, or indeed low, content of certain essential nutrients. A ‘normal’ diet is not necessarily a healthy or optimum one.
  2. Requirements for essential nutrients vary from individual to individual depending on genetic, physiological, lifestyle and other influences. What is adequate for one person may not be adequate for another.
  3. Illness is inevitably linked with an abnormal biochemistry and an alteration in the metabolism of nutrients and their by-products.
  4. Specific nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids, as well as dietary manipulation in general, provide a potent means of influencing body biochemistry and thus disease processes.
  5. Reproductive processes are nutrient-dependent and sensitive to environmental pollution. Nutritional status of and environmental factors affecting both parents in the preconceptional and periconceptional period, and nutritional status of and  environmental factors affecting the mother throughout pregnancy, are primary determinants of pregnancy outcome.

Making different health choices can change the world

Just imagine what would happen if we all just followed the 10 simple behaviours listed below.

  1. Take responsibility for your own health, foster awareness and lead by example
  2. Eat a diet that’s varied, balanced and made up largely of whole foods—choose not to buy processed or GM foods
  3. Buy/cultivate local/regional whole, organic/biodynamic/sustainable foods, including heirloom varieties—avoid relying on supermarkets as your primary source of food if possible or at least choose wisely
  4. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle—exercise moderately, breathe fresh air, drink clean water, manage stress effectively, get enough quality sleep, minimise your exposure to toxins and harmful radiation sources as much as possible
  5. Micronutrients—prefer fully natural products and ingredients
  6. Support ethically sound, enviromentally friendly companies and products
  7. Where possible support the self-healing capacities of your body and try to choose a healthcare practitioner/doctor who is qualified in and respects the fields of medicine you believe are most appropriate to your needs.  Or you can educate your doctor—do your own research and show him/her the options that are out there.  That’s Health Choice!
  8. Communicate the challenges and ways to overcome them to ensure that our fundamental right to natural health is not eroded.  Awareness and education offer empowerment to make positive change
  9. Act local, think global!  Focus on the ‘next generation’ and work with kids—help them to understand and get involved with nature, natural food and wholefood preparation
  10. Support pro-health freedom, pro-organic, anti-GM organisations—these organisations are on the front lines on your behalf.

What Can You Do to Influence Codex?

The short answer is that it’s extremely difficult to influence Codex. It’s even harder if you’re in Europe, as European Member States don’t just act individually, they are also ‘spoken for’ by the European Commission which acts on behalf of the EU trading bloc. So even if you get the ear of the bureaucrats within your Member State delegation, this delegation is just one of 27 in the EU that is largely represented by a single European Commission bureaucrat. This is one of the reasons that it’s so important for concerned individuals in the EU to have an aligned view on what the problems are so that maximum influence in relation to the same key issues can be applied both to Member States Governments and the European Commission.

We would go one step further and argue that the difficulty in influencing Codex is likely to be the result of deliberately engineered decision-making process that prevents or at least greatly complicates individuals’ capacity to exert their democratic right.

One of the key requisites in having influence is to ensure that complaints about Codex are both accurate, and can be substantiated. There are many examples to show that misinformation on Codex has acted as a smoke screen to conceal genuine complaints, and this enables politicians and bureaucrats to have a reason to reject people’s concerns. Too often, we’ve had feedback from members of the public telling us that when they have approached their elective representative with their concerns they’ve been told that their facts are wrong and that they have misunderstood the problems so there is nothing that can, or need, be done.

Bearing this in mind we have the following advice:

1) Inform yourself about Codex using reliable sources such us documentation available from the official Codex website and our own site. Inaccurate information or disinformation can be more damaging to the cause than no information

2) Focus on the following issues

  • Codex’s support for the global trade of simplified, nutritionally-inadequate, chemically-contaminated and increasingly genetically-modified foods
  • Codex’s lack of support or interest in community-based farming and food supply infrastructures which are known to offer high quality foods better adapted to local environments
  • The increasing ‘dumbing down’ of organic agricultural principles making them less environmentally sustainable while making them more amenable to large agri-businesses
  • Codex’s lack of interest in the agricultural self-sufficiency of poorer countries
  • Codex’s support for hazardous food technologies such as GMO’s, chemical additives, pesticides and irradiation
  • Codex’s desire to limit beneficial and therapeutic nutrients delivered as supplements
  • The acceptance of risk analysis principles that are fundamentally defective scientifically when it comes to the consideration of nutrients, and foods with health benefits
  • Codex’s attempt to harmonise health claims using excessively onerous criteria to support claims which flies in the face of approaches that support the education of consumers in the field of healthy eating and nutritional supplementation
  • Pressure from World Trade Organization (WTO) for countries to harmonise to Codex recommendations, guidelines or standards, or face sanctions which might be sufficient to cripple the economy of smaller countries

3) Communicate these concerns (above) to as many of your contacts as possible both within, and outside your country

4) Write to and/or meet with your elected representative and ensure s/he works on your behalf to influence your government

5) Where possible work to influence representatives from the Codex delegation, their names and addresses being publicly available in the annual reports of individual Codex Committee meetings

6) Work to influence national laws such as those on GMO’s, food additives, food safety, pesticide residues, organic farming, food supplements and health claims that are likely to influence the development of Codex guidelines and standards.

In essence, some of the most influential laws are derived form the EU, the USA and Canada. This is therefore a call to citizens and food producers and suppliers from these three countries to engage with the law making system to the maximum possible extent in the genuine interest of public health.

Key action steps

In addition to the actions of the individual (above), actions on Codex can be divided into three main groups:

  • Political action: make sure you make your views about national laws and Codex known to your governments and elected representatives (see above)
  • Consumer action: how you spend your money is one of the most powerful ways of bringing change. Do not buy or eat processed foods, GM foods, or foods containing food additives wherever possible. Try to buy or cultivate organic foods or foods to which pesticides have not been applied. Support local and community based food production systems. Minimise the purchase of imported foods.
  • Social action: make others aware of the risks posed to our food supply by the global food trade and its control through Codex. Stay informed and use only reliable resources providing accurate information. Help your friends, relatives and other contacts to appreciate the risks of processed, GM and unnatural foods. Stress the importance of chemical-free, locally or regionally produced, whole foods in the diet. Get them to be active both politically and as consumers.

For more information, email to We’ll do our best to answer your questions.



How the Codex Affects Your Health

Codex is not an easy subject to get to grips with. With over 20 committees meeting on an annual basis, and published reports comprising a total of over 1,400 pages in 2005 alone, most people are blissfully unaware of the extent to which its activities affect their health.

Read on to discover the bigger picture behind the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s support for the “business with disease”.

What is Codex?

The World Trade Organization uses Codex Guidelines and Standards as the benchmark in the adjudication of international trade disputes involving foods. It’s headquarters, above, are located in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) is the main global body that makes proposals to, and is consulted by, the Directors-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on all matters pertaining to the implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. Established in 1963, the Commission’s main purposes are stated in its Procedural Manual as being:

  • protecting the health of consumers
  • ensuring fair practices in the food trade
  • promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Unfortunately however, and as we shall see, its activities do not protect the health of consumers and the international food trade is anything but fair.

At the time of writing, the Commission presides over a total of 27 active subsidiary committees and ad hoc intergovernmental task forces, the main functions of which revolve around the drafting of standards, guidelines and other related texts for foods, including food supplements.

Once completed these texts are presented to the Commission for final approval and adoption as new global standards.

How does Codex affect you and your health?

Codex standards and guidelines now exist for virtually all foods.

Whilst the adoption by countries of the various standards and guidelines developed by Codex is theoretically optional, the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995 essentially changed their international status, in that they are now increasingly used by the WTO as the benchmark in the adjudication of international trade disputes involving foods.

As such, the potential threat of becoming involved in – and losing – such a dispute now effectively makes the adoption of Codex guidelines and standards mandatory, in that it leaves WTO member countries little or no option but to comply with them. Given therefore that a total of 149 countries are currently members of the WTO, and also that Codex standards or guidelines now exist for virtually every food one can name, this effectively means that the activities of Codex now directly affect the vast majority of people on the planet.

In addition to dealing with ordinary foods, however, Codex also sets standards and guidelines for, amongst other things: vitamin and mineral food supplements; health claims; organic foods; genetically modified foods; food labeling; advertising; food additives and pesticide residues.

Significantly, therefore, and as we shall see below, in all of these areas the evidence is now inescapable that Codex is increasingly putting economic interests – and particularly those of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries – before human health.

Codex Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements

The Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements were adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as a new global standard at its meeting in Rome, Italy, in July 2005.

The Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements were adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as a new global standard at its meeting in Rome, Italy, in July 2005. Drafted using the European Union’s restrictive Food Supplements Directive as a blueprint, the Guidelines mandate the setting of restrictive upper limits on the dosages of vitamins and minerals, and the prohibiting of claims that vitamin and mineral supplements are suitable for use in the prevention, alleviation, treatment or cure of disease.

As a result, and bearing in mind the growing mountain of evidence demonstrating the impressive health improvements that can be achieved via the use of nutritional supplements, it can be seen that far from protecting the health of consumers, the global enforcement of these guidelines would ensure that the sale of curative, preventative, and therapeutic health products remains the exclusive province of the pharmaceutical industry.

Health claims

The Codex General Guidelines on Claims protects the patent on the pharmaceutical industry’s control of our healthcare systems.

There are already several Codex texts in existence that place restrictions upon the health benefits that can be attributed to food products, and perhaps the most significant of these is the Codex General Guidelines on Claims. Adopted in 1979, and revised in 1991, these guidelines are in some senses the very root of the Codex problem – in terms of placing severe restrictions upon natural forms of healthcare – in that they effectively seek to ensure that the only products that can make claims relating to the prevention, alleviation, treatment, and cure of disease are pharmaceutical drugs.

Specifically, and amongst other things, the Codex General Guidelines on Claims prohibit all claims implying that a balanced diet or ordinary foods cannot supply adequate amounts of all nutrients, and all claims that food products are suitable for use in the prevention, alleviation, treatment or cure of diseases.

As such, it can be seen that they essentially protect the patent on the pharmaceutical industry’s control of our healthcare systems.

Organic foods

Organic foods have been receiving increased attention from Codex in recent years, and it is now increasingly clear that the Codex Committee on Food Labeling is attempting to water down global organic standards to permit the use of substances such as:

  • sulphur dioxide, which can cause allergic reactions in some people
  • sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, which are potentially carcinogenic, and have been implicated in hyperactivity in children
  • carrageenan, for which there is evidence that it is associated with the formation of ulcers in the intestines and cancerous tumors in the gut

Worse still, however, the Codex Alimentarius Commission recently gave the go-ahead for work to begin on the inclusion of ethylene in the Codex Guidelines for the Production, Processing, Labeling and Marketing of Organically Produced Foods.

Ethylene is used to artificially induce fruits and vegetables to ripen whilst they are in transit, and as such its approval for use on organic foods would represent a disturbing step towards WTO-enforced acceptance of the same dubious and unnatural agricultural practices that non-organic foods are already subject to.

Why does Codex want to water down organic standards in this way?

On a basic level it is simply because organic foods fetch higher prices than ordinary, non-organic, foods, and that as such the large non-organic food producers see an easy opportunity to break into the market for organic foods and make larger profits. On a deeper level, however, organic foods promote better health than non-organic foods, by virtue of the fact that they contain higher levels of micronutrients.

In addition, of course, organic foods don’t contain pesticides, residues of veterinary drugs or genetically-modified organisms either.

Bearing in mind therefore that good health is not in the interests of the “business with disease”, this ultimately makes the increasing demand for organic foods a threat to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries; not only because organic foods promote good health, however, but also because they result in a lower demand for pesticides, veterinary drugs and GM foods – and thus in lower profits.

Moreover, and unlike genetically-modified seeds, organic seeds cannot be patented.

As such, given that some of the major players in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, such as Bayer and BASF, are also major players in the biotech industry, it can easily be seen that the rising popularity of non-patentable organic foods is in fact a serious and growing threat to the profits of the pharmaceutical industry’s “business with disease”.

Genetically-modified foods

The increasing popularity of food supplement, natural health practices and organic food is a serious threat to the pharmaceutical industry’s business with disease.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted its first guidelines and principles for genetically-modified (GM) foods in 2003. These texts subsequently became instrumental in the United States, Canada and Argentina launching, and winning, a trade dispute at the WTO against the European Union (EU), where it was argued that the EU had been applying a moratorium on the approval and importation of foods containing GM material.

Further guidelines and standards for GM foods are now in the process of being drafted by Codex. The eventual adoption of these texts will further contribute to making the approval, and importation, of GM foods that comply with them mandatory for all WTO member countries. Crucially, therefore, the United States, Canada and Argentina are also pushing for there to be no requirement for manufacturers or exporters of GM foods to disclose the presence of genetically modified organisms on their product labeling.

This is exactly what the big GM food manufacturers want, of course, as they have long realized that growing numbers of people are opposed to GM food products, and moreover that they will not be able to change public opinion about these products anytime soon.

Unlike the seeds for regular foods, the seeds for GM foods can be patented.

This, essentially, is the real key to why biotech companies are so desperate for these foods to be forced onto world markets, as the potential long-term profits are so colossal as to compare quite favorably with the market in pharmaceutical drugs. Given therefore that some of the major players in the pharmaceutical industry, such as Bayer and BASF, are also major players in the biotech industry, it can be seen that the pharmaceutical industry is once again positioning itself as a key beneficiary at Codex.

As such – so far as the pharmaceutical industry is concerned – the only products that are worth producing are those that are patentable. Because of this, the rise in the popularity of food supplements, natural health practices and even organic food represents a serious threat to the pharmaceutical industry.

The financial interest groups behind the Codex Alimentarius Commission know this only too well, of course, and as such are now engaged in a desperate struggle to maintain their monopoly upon the healthcare industry and expand into GM food production.

Food labeling

A specific Codex committee to deal with food labeling issues, the Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL), has been in existence since 1965.

The issue of food labeling is particularly crucial to the further spreading of life-saving natural health information, as restrictions upon the written content of food labels contribute, along with those on advertising, to preventing nutritional supplement manufacturers from informing people of the proven benefits of dietary supplementation.

Crucially, therefore, CCFL has refused to acknowledge the role of optimum nutrition in the prevention, alleviation, treatment and cure of disease, and, as such, rather than protecting the health of consumers, can be seen to be acting in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry’s “business with disease”.


Arguments as to how or whether Codex should deal with advertising issues have been going on since at least 1972.

These arguments continued at the May 2006 CCFL meeting in Ottawa, where they centered around whether or not work on a definition for advertising should be initiated, and if it should, where (i.e. within which Codex text) such a definition should be placed. After considerable discussion regarding this issue CCFL decided that work on a definition for advertising should indeed be initiated.

From a natural health perspective, however, the definition proposed is far from satisfactory:

“Advertising: any representation to the public, by any means other than a label, that is intended or is likely to influence and shape attitude, beliefs and behaviors in order to promote directly or indirectly the sale of the food.”

The wording of this proposed definition raises several key questions.

For example, as well as its potential to result in the prohibition of advertising legitimate, published, peer-reviewed scientific research papers, might it also inhibit non-profit natural health advocacy organizations from influencing and shaping attitude, beliefs and behaviors regarding the sale of nutritional supplements?

Similarly, could any restrictions on advertising that are based upon this definition be said to contravene the right to freedom of opinion and expression and/or the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (both of which are enshrined in Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights)?

Regardless however, given that the pharmaceutical industry’s “business with disease” depends for its survival upon the restriction of any and all means by which consumers can obtain natural health information, potential restrictions on advertising are clearly now a key issue at Codex.

Food additives

Codex has a specific committee that deals with the safety of food additives, one of the main functions of which is to establish their maximum permitted levels. In all, the Codex Food Additive Index currently lists a total of around 300 individual additives – both synthetic and natural – that it permits to be used in foods.

However, whilst it may be the case that some artificial additives are essentially safe when consumed in small amounts and in isolation from one another, the reality is that no substantive consideration has been given by Codex to the fact that such chemicals are consumed not in isolation, but in tandem with each other. As such, and to the benefit of their manufacturers, the cumulative long-term effect that the consumption of multiple patented chemicals and artificial additives has on the health of consumers is largely being ignored.

Diseases caused or aggravated by the long-term consumption of pesticides increase the potential market for pharmaceutical drugs.

Revealingly, therefore, many artificial additives are being manufactured by some of the same pharmaceutical and chemical companies that would like to ban vitamin supplements and force GM foods onto our dinner plates.

And, as is similarly the case with pharmaceutical drugs and GM seeds, the main reason why many of these substances exist is because they can be patented – and patents equal higher profits.


The Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues was formed in 1966, and is responsible for setting the maximum limits for pesticide residues in specific food items or in groups of food.

Once again, however, the safety or otherwise of each individual pesticide is generally examined in isolation, and the long-term effect that their collective presence might have upon the body is mostly ignored.

Given therefore that many of these dangerous chemicals are manufactured by pharmaceutical and chemical companies, it is not difficult to imagine that their widespread usage may be seen by these industries as having a dual financial benefit, in that they potentially increase the size of the market for – and hence the profits to be made from – the patented drugs used as treatments for any diseases that their long-term consumption might cause.


Codex is not just about nutritional supplements. In fact, it is the primary political battlefield where the war is being waged about who will regulate and control the global food supply from farm to fork.

This ‘war’ is being waged by an increasingly tangled web of global authorities, big business and financial interests, and, as such, trade and profit are its prime goals – not human health.

Current indications suggest that the long-term financial winners in the battle to gain control over the world’s food supply are likely to be the pharmaceutical and chemical industries; especially so given that the adoption of still further Codex guidelines for foods derived from biotechnology now seems almost inevitable. As a result, our freedom of choice, our future health and the environment itself are all now clearly at risk.

Good nutrition and optimum health threaten the pharmaceutical industry’s “business with disease” because they reduce the size of the marketplace for synthetic drugs.

However, food that is free of pesticide residues, artificial additives and other contaminants can, by definition, only come about as a result of a lower global usage, or ideally the entire elimination, of these chemicals. This, of course, would not be in the financial interests of the pharmaceutical and chemical companies that manufacture such substances, as it would clearly result in lower profits, better health for entire populations, and a consequent reduction in the use of synthetic drugs.

In conclusion therefore, whilst it may have been somewhat “out of the limelight” recently, the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s support for the “business with disease” has continued unabated, and the wide scope of its activities makes it a significant danger to the future health of all humanity.

Do we want to see a world where our access to safe, nutritious foods and effective dietary supplements is restricted and controlled by pharmaceutical and chemical interests?

If not then we must act now, before it’s too late.

Further Information:

Codex Alimentarius Commission 28th Session, FAO Headquarters – Rome, Italy, 4-9 July, 2005 – Official Report
Codex Alimentarius Commission – Report of the thirtieth session – Rome, 2-7 July 2007 – Official Report
Codex Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements
European Union Food Supplements Directive


by Paul Anthony Taylor
October 2006
from DrRathFoundation Website