Title: The State of Natural Health Products in Canada
Author: Linda K. Beach C.H.
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The State of Natural Health Products in Canada
by Linda K. Beach C.H.

The FAO/WHO/Codex Ailementarius Commission has launched the
first Joint FAO/WHO Project to construct an umbrella framework
for establishing the safe upper levels for nutrient supplements

The purported task of this scientific international
collaboration is to assess the 'risk' of nutrients and related
products as a measure to protect human health. Currently there
are no established techniques to measure the 'risks'.

While this project is of great importance to the future of our
supplement choices and therapies in North America, a ten-year-old
hurdle remains unresolved. It's the Codex proposed guidelines on
the potency limitations of vitamins, minerals and other

At a Codex Committee meeting in Rome this coming July, we can
expect to see the adoption of the Codex new guidelines for our
vitamin supplements and other natural health products and

Consequently, health conscious North Americans may see our worst
fears come to pass, high levels of nutrients lowered because the
Codex brainchild believes we can derive our daily nutrients from
ordinary food, which is why they are currently encouraging the
consumer to refrain from buying supplements!

In reality, what that means is that the upper RDI limits will be
pushed to very low levels in an effort to 'protect the consumer ".
How low? Possibly as low as the RDI set out for soldiers during
World War II. Codex claims their fear is 'over-supplementation'.

So what is Canada's position in the International debate?

As a country member, Canada is not bound by the dictates of the
Codex unless we formally accept their standards or guidelines.
Most countries ignore the Codex procedures (because they have
never worked) and notification from them has no bearing on

An agreement of sorts has been reached on the wording of the
proposed guideline and the last words they have agreed to use
are the following; "When the maximum levels are set, due account
may be taken of the reference intake values of vitamins and
minerals for the population. This provision should not lead to
setting of maximum levels that are solely based on recommended
nutrient intakes. e.g., Population Reference Intake or
Recommended Daily Allowance values".

The good news is that we have won this round, but the battle for
global nutritional regulation is still up for grabs and we are
losing because the European Union (EU) does not believe in
supplementing the diet with vitamins and minerals. In fact, their
attitude appears to be adverse to vitamins and minerals and they
think differently as to who should regulate nutritional

Dr. Rolf Grossklaus chairman of the CCNFSDU was quoted as saying,
"It is not to prevent disease or to heal but rather the scope is
to optimize nutrition. Consumers should know that a balanced diet
is best."

So now we are engaged in an international debate where Europe
believes in strict enforceable regulations and products
prescribed only by a medical doctor, while North America
believes in freedom to make our own health choices.

Canadian consumers and other stakeholders in the natural health
industry will no doubt be watching closely for news to come out
of the Codex Committee meeting in Rome this summer.

Copyright  2005 Linda K. Beach C.H.

About Linda: Linda K Beach CH is the chief consultant and owner
of Medical Botany Research. Medical Botany Research provides
Canadian Natural Health Product registration in Canada.


List of articles by Linda K. Beach C.H. : [EMAIL PROTECTED]


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