CAFTA & CODEX: beware of disinformation

2005-07-14

Richard Moore

 
Friends,

In response to our Codex thread, someone told me about this URL, 
which paints a rosy picture of Codex:
         http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/vitamins.asp

I looked at it. It's a classic example of disinformation. It
claims Codex gives merely guidelines, which are not
enforceable, and that we will not be affected. The article
completely ignores the process by which such guidelines become
enforceable, a process which is well underway in the case of
Codex.

The first article below tells us that Codex, just yesterday,
has now become part of EU law. The second article explains how
conformance to Codex is buried in the fine print of CAFTA,
which is now under debate in the House of Representatives,
where it will surely be adopted. The third article gives the
actual text of Chapter Six of CAFTA, which contains that fine
print.

rkm

--------------------------------------------------------
From: "Westaway" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Controversial EU Vitamins Ban to Go Ahead
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 09:48:23 -0700

http://rense.com/general66/procp.htm

Controversial EU Vitamins
Ban To Go Ahead
By Sam Knight
The Times - UK
7-12-5

A controversial new EU regulation that has threatened to outlaw thousands of
mineral supplements and bankrupt health food stores across Britain was
upheld this morning.

The European Court of Justice approved the Food Supplements Directive even
though the court's own Advocate-General advised that the Directive was
invalid under EU law.

The ruling - greeted with surprise - is a defeat for a concerted campaign by
more than a million British health food customers and shops. They have
argued that the law, which will come into effect on August 1, will impose an
unprecedented level of regulation on mineral supplements and could threaten
the existence of small suppliers.
---<snip>---

--------------------------------------------------------
http://www.thenhf.com/newsflash_49.htm

National Health Federation  Urgent Alert - CAFTA  
July 2, 2005

URGENT ALERT
ACT NOW
YOUR HEALTH FREEDOM IS BEING THREATENED

CAFTA VOTE - 1 WEEK AWAY

WE MUST NOT ALLOW CAFTA AND CODEX TO OVERRIDE DSHEA 

The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) Treaty will 
require the U.S., a member of the World Trade Organization, to
revise our food  laws and regulations based on Codex
decisions. CAFTA would force harmonization  of our dietary
supplements and regulations to international standards, 
overriding the DSHEA Act of 1994.

The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the
even-broader Free  Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) are
both modelled after the North  American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA). These agreements are typical bureaucratic 
monstrosities of " managed " trade that masquerade as free
trade and  would expand NAFTA to include first Central America
and then the rest of the  Americas in an economic "union." 
True free trade would take a few pages of  written text to
enact ("eliminate these barriers to trade and these tariffs," 
etc.); all three of these agreements encompass thousands of
pages of  bureaucratic textual garbage sprinkled liberally
with rules, regulations, and  special-interest benefits.

Buried in the language of CAFTA is Section 6 that would
require of all its  members that they form a Sanitary and
Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) committee for the  purpose of insuring
ongoing harmonization under the terms of the SPS  Agreement in
the World Trade Organization (WTO).  You can find that text at
 the following website:

http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Bilateral/CAFTA/CAFTA-DR_Final_Texts/Section_Index.html
.

If you then look at Article 3 of the WTO's SPS Agreement, you
will read the  following words: "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."
(emphasis added) And  as you all know by now, Codex sets the
international standards for food safety  including vitamins &
minerals.

So, CAFTA, which is set for a vote in the House of
Representatives when they  reconvene July 11th, 2005, is
another critical link by which health-freedom  haters hope to
bypass the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994
 and obligate the United States and Canada by treaty to
harmonize  to the harshly restrictive Codex
vitamin-and-mineral standards. They cannot be  allowed to
succeed, and we at the NHF completely oppose these two
treaties that  would put a knife in the back of our health
freedoms.

*********************

ONLY ONE WEEK TO ACT.  CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.  URGE
THEM TO VOTE AGAINST CAFTA NOW .

--------------------------------------------------------
http://www.sag.gob.cl/contenedortmp/United_States_-_Chile_Free_Trade_Agreement/Measures.PDF

Chapter Six

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

Objectives

The objectives of this Chapter are to protect human, animal,
and plant health conditions in the Parties' territories,
enhance the Parties' implementation of the SPS Agreement,
provide a forum for addressing bilateral sanitary and
phytosanitary matters, resolve trade issues, and thereby
expand trade opportunities.

Article 6.1: Scope and Coverage

This Chapter applies to all sanitary and phytosanitary
measures of a Party that may, directly or indirectly, affect
trade between the Parties.

Article 6.2 :  General Provision

1. Further to Article 1.3 (Relation to Other Agreements), the
Parties affirm their existing rights and obligations with
respect to each other under the SPS Agreement.

2. Neither Party may have recourse to dispute settlement under
this Agreement for any matter arising under this Chapter.
Article 6.3:  Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Matters

1. The Parties hereby agree to establish a Committee on
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Matters comprising representatives
of each Party who have responsibility for sanitary and
phytosanitary matters.

2. The Parties shall establish the Committee not later than 30
days after the date of entry into force of this Agreement
through an exchange of letters identifying the primary
representative of each Party to the Committee and establishing
the Committee's terms of reference.

3. The objectives of the Committee shall be to enhance the
implementation by each Party of the SPS Agreement, protect
human, animal, and plant life and health, enhance consultation
and cooperation on sanitary and phytosanitary matters, and
facilitate trade between the Parties.

4. The Committee shall seek to enhance any present or future
relationships between the Parties' agencies with
responsibility for sanitary and phytosanitary matters.

5. The Committee shall provide a forum for:

    (a) enhancing mutual understanding of each Party's sanitary
    and phytosanitary measures and the regulatory processes that
    relate to those measures;
    
    (b) consulting on matters related to the development or
    application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures that
    affect, or may affect, trade between the Parties;
    
    (c) consulting on issues, positions, and agendas for meetings
    of the WTO SPS Committe e, the various Codex committees
    (including the Codex Alimentarius Commissio n), the
    International Plant Protection Conventio n, the International
    Office of Epizootic s, and other international and regional
    for a on food safety and human, animal, and plant health;
    
    (d) coordinating technical cooperation programs on sanitary
    and phytosanitary matters;
    
    (e) improving bilateral understanding related to specific
    implementation issues concerning the SPS Agreement; and
    
    (f) reviewing progress on addressing sanitary and
    phytosanitary matters that may arise between the Parties'
    agencies with responsibility for such matters.

6. The Committee shall meet at least once a year unless the
Parties otherwise agree.

7. The Committee shall perform its work in accordance with the
terms of reference referenced in paragraph 2. The Committee
may revise the terms of reference and may develop procedures
to guide its operation.

8. Each Party shall ensure that appropriate representatives
with responsibility for the development, implementation, and
enforcement of sanitary and phytosanitary measures from its
relevant trade and regulatory agencies or ministries
participate in meetings of the Committee. The official
agencies and ministries of each Party responsible for such
measures shall be set out in the Committee's terms of
reference.

9. The Committee may agree to establish ad hoc working groups
in accordance with the Committee's terms of reference.

Article 6.4: Definitions

For purposes of this Chapter, sanitary or phytosanitary
measure means any measure referred to in Annex A, paragraph 1,
of the SPS Agreement.

---

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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland
blog: http://harmonization.blogspot.com/

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