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CODEX, FDA, and DSHEA

November 1997 - Print | Index

November is a busy month and as we approach the end of the year a lot of obligations and holiday stresses occur. As you may already know, St. John's Wort is being heralded as a significant herb for reducing stress through mood elevation. However, there's more to the story. Most importantly, St. John's Wort is an incredible immune enhancer that has had dramatic impact on the individuals using it for AIDS and other immune function problems.

Other significant news is the passage of national legislation that has eliminated the term "harmonization" related to food supplements and nutrients. Once again the grass roots have shown that democracy is still alive and even invigorated by the presence of the internet!

Grass roots can also extend to people around you, including your doctor. In a better world, your doctor would receive two years of nutritional studies in medical school, including the role of biochemistry and metabolism, the function of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, pro-biotics (intestinal flora), and herbs. Since this does not occur, you can have a dramatic effect by sharing your information of nutrition with your doctor. Don't let any fears of your lack of scientific authority hinder you; simply tell your doctor to get "online" and use a search engine, such as Infoseek. For example, he could search for "green tea" or "alpha lipoic acid". He will discover enough scientific journal information to keep him busy for the next week, substantiating the incredible health benefits possible by these nutrients.

We know, as you probably do, that preventive medicine and health education can reverse or prevent many of the problems that Americans suffer from: obesity, hypertension, allergies, colds, flu, joint stiffness, are a few of the examples. The benefits of early holistic care, delaying the onset of serious disease conditions, should no longer be ignored by practicing physicians. Remember, as a consumer and as a doctor's patient, you have the power to advocate your own viewpoints!

CODEX and FDA Reform Bill News

There has been a lot of information and mis-information on the Internet lately about CODEX and the FDA Reform Bill. This press release from Citizens for Health will bring you up-to-date with accurate information:

November 10, 1997
Passage of FDA Reform Legislation Protects Dietary Supplements
Boulder CO
--Citizens For Health today announced the inclusion of language in the FDA Reform bill (S830, Section 410(c)(5)) specifically excluding dietary supplements from consideration under the bill's harmonization provisions. The final bill and the accompanying conference report were passed by the House and Senate last night and will be forwarded to President Clinton for his signature.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a primary author of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, in a floor statement following passage of the bill said, "On behalf of the dietary supplement manufacturers, and most importantly the 100 million or so consumers--most of whom seem to have called our offices in the last few weeks--let me thank you for making sure that the bill does not undo the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act [DSHEA] in any way and that dietary supplements will remain what they are, food products, not drugs."

"It is extremely gratifying that Senators Hatch and Harkin responded quickly and effectively to our questions about the effects of the harmonization language on DSHEA," said Susan Haeger, executive director of Citizens For Health. "Thousands of Citizens' members, along with many other concerned parties, contacted legislators and worked diligently for weeks on this issue. The language now included in the bill clearly states that dietary supplements are excluded from any harmonization efforts. We are pleased that the conferees acted on consumer concerns to definitively protect DSHEA."

The harmonization language in FDA Reform had aroused fear and confusion in the natural products community. Circulation of inaccurate information led concerned citizens to believe that the legislation was a "CODEX law" mandating harmonization of our laws with international standards of the UN's CODEX Alimentarius Commission and the European Union (EU), jeopardizing the advances made for access to dietary supplements under DSHEA.

While Citizens' did not agree with this information, we were concerned about the future effects of harmonization on the availability of dietary supplements in light of the global trend to lower international trade barriers. Both the CODEX Commission and the EU are still in the developmental stage and have yet to adopt any final guidelines. Additionally, the CODEX Commission is focusing only on essential nutrients and does not address the broad category of dietary supplements.

Check www.citizens.org or call for a copy of our policy papers on CODEX and FDA Reform. For a copy of the final bill language, contact Citizens For Health at 303-417-0772, Fax: 417-9375, Email: cfh@ares.csd.net, Web: www.citizens.org

For CODEX information, please check out the following pages:


The BEST of health to you!
Michael LeVesque, President

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products listed in this newsletter are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician before taking any of these products.