International food safety standards are being negotiated in Rome – Codex Alimentarius

NEWS RELEASE

NHF Will Be Fighting Glyphosate, rBGH, and High Arsenic Standards

At Upcoming Codex Meeting in Rome

June 23, 2016

      The 39th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) will meet in Rome, Italy all next week, starting on Monday, June 27th. The National Health Federation (NHF) – a Codex-accredited international nongovernmental organization – will be there participating, led by NHF president Scott Tips and NHF Board member David Noakes.

There are always items on the Codex agenda that interest our members and other health-freedom activists, but the four issues that focus our attention at this CAC meeting are:

1. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH).  Defeated at last year’s CAC meeting in Geneva by NHF and others, a proposed Maximum Residue Level (MRL) for rBGH (also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin or rBST) is still on the table for debate at this year’s meeting. This MRL has been kept at final Step 8 since 1999, right where it belongs – unadopted.  Remember, rBGH is a genetically engineered vet drug given to cows to increase their milk production. Unfortunately, it also causes increased mastitis (udder infections) in treated cows as well as increased IGF-1, a known cancer risk factor.  Mastitis leads to increased antibiotic use to treat the problem, with the result that milk is unhealthier for human and animal consumption because of increased pus and bacteria in the milk and dairy products, as well as the antibiotic residues and the mastitis-causing bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.  At the previous CAC meeting, NHF expert Robert Cohen and delegation head Scott Tips did a superb job of convincing many Codex delegations of the dangers of rBGH and NHF plans on repeating our success at the upcoming meeting by either keeping the rBGH standard from being adopted or convincing Codex delegates to discontinue work on the standard altogether.

2.  Inorganic Arsenic in Rice.  Codex is close to adopting a proposed Maximum Level (ML) of 0.35 mg/kg (or 350 parts per billion) for inorganic arsenic in husked rice. NHF opposed this higher level at the Committee meeting held in Rotterdam last April, but the Committee chose to advance this for final adoption by the parent body, the Commission. NHF argued for an ML of 0.25 mg/kg, which we saw as the best we could get at Codex even though we believe that a 0.15 mg/kg ML would be far healthier.  Unfortunately, at the Committee meeting, only NHF and Consumers International supported the 0.15 ML so there was no hope of seeing the healthiest level prevail. Strange as it might seem, it only takes small incremental adjustments in inorganic-arsenic MLs for the health of vast populations to be affected. That is why NHF will argue hard at this CAC meeting for a lower ML.

3.  Codex Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.  Codex has proposed to set up a Task Force on AntiMicrobial Resistance (TFAMR), which would focus on possible revisions to the Code of Practice to Minimize and Contain Antimicrobial Resistance (CAC/RCP 61-2005) and in developing Guidance on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance.  With antibiotic resistance on the rise worldwide, this Task Force would seek to address critical issues: Minimizing the use of antimicrobials in all types of agriculture (including aquaculture and crop production); and developing guidelines for tracking antimicrobial usage and resistance.  The United States and Brazil oppose the TFAMR and has already said that it would work to delay the creation of the Task Force.  NHF’s information is that the United States’ “solution” (supported by Brazil) is to have an electronic Working Group work (eWG) “study” the issue for at least one year before deciding if a task force is necessary.  This position, however, seems to be an isolated one as there is no other support for a delay in creating the TFAMR. NHF expects the Task Force to be created at the upcoming meeting.

4.  Glyphosate.  On the CAC agenda for discussion is the Annual Report of the Procedure to Monitor the Process of International Harmonization, prepared by the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. It neither sounds innocuous nor is it innocuous. In its Section 3.1, the Report discusses the United States’ concern that “some Members had taken action, or were considering taking actions, to restrict the use of glyphosate, an active ingredient in many commonly used pesticides, due to a recent assessment from the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declaring the compound ‘probably carcinogenic.’” Backed by Ukraine, Brazil, Canada, China, and Paraguay, the U.S. contends that since a hazard is different than a risk and since Codex deals in risk assessment and risk management, Codex member states should permit glyphosate sale and use regardless of the hazard. NHF expert Arya Vrilya has accumulated a vast amount of information on glyphosate health hazards and risks, while David Noakes has also created a report on glyphosate, the information of which will be used at the CAC meeting as well as the Pesticide Residue Committee meeting next year. For all those who also oppose glyphosate usage worldwide, it is critical for you to support NHF’s attendance at these Codex meetings by going online at www.thenhf.com/make-a-donation/ and making a donation to us. NHF will strongly oppose any glyphosate usage, if it has the funds to attend these distant, expensive meetings.

Look for further reports about this CAC meeting from NHF this coming week and thereafter. NHF is your Voice for health and health freedom at the highest level. Thank you for your support.

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