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Darbio16's avatar

Can anyone tell me just exactly what Codex Alimentarius is?

Asked by Darbio16 (767points) August 23rd, 2009

This food regulation trade association’s policy is supposed to be adopted Dec. 31, 2009 in America. Why are natural food and organic food organizations flipping out about it?

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15 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Codex Alimentarius


The controversy over the Codex Alimentarius relates to a perception that it is a mandatory standard for food – including vitamin and mineral supplement – safety. Supporters of the Codex Alimentarius say that it is a voluntary reference standard for food and that there is no obligation on countries to adopt Codex standards as a member of either Codex or any other international trade organization. From the point of view of its opponents, however, one of the main causes of concern is that the Codex Alimentarius is recognized by the World Trade Organization as an international reference standard for the resolution of disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection.[2][4] Proponents argue that the use of Codex Alimentarius during international disputes does not exclude the use of other references or scientific studies as evidence of food safety and consumer protection.

Darbio16's avatar

it has been said that codex will make vitamins and minerals illegal and that home or organic gardens will also be banned.

eponymoushipster's avatar

yeah, that’s gonna happen.~

PerryDolia's avatar

This sounds like one of those situations that is being blown out of proportion. It seems reasonable that some organization, who actually understands the subject, would write a series of guidelines on how food should be handled. For example, if beef was being processed, what should the temperature be? How cold should the freezer be? How long can beef remain edible if it is stored a 3 degrees C, etc.

The controversy over the vitamins and minerals doesn’t seem to be about their availability, but more focused on the labeling and manufacturing standards. I can see the organic, natural food groups being unhappy if the labeling has to specifically state the truth, which is that most supplements have no valid, double blind testing to prove they work, so they would have to say on the label that they are not proven to do anything. This would be a bit of a problem for their sales effort.

But, it wouldn’t stop you from buying vitamin C if you wanted to.

dpworkin's avatar

One of the hallmarks of a scam is that it produces reams of paranoid material when it is afraid it is about to be regulated. Follow the money.

AstroChuck's avatar

All I can tell you is it didn’t work for me. It’s what resulted in my first child.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Wasn’t it some gadget everyone was after in some James Bond movie?

eponymoushipster's avatar

i’m pretty sure it’s what they were looking for the in the last National Treasure movie.

Jenniehowell's avatar

Ha! I’m laughing at the last few answers.

From what I’ve read & heard this thing us supposedly going to restrict a lot of freedoms relating to natural & organic foods & supplements. From what I understand people are not so much upset over the labeling issues as much as they are upset at other regulatory issues that will allegedly restrict the use if many natural supplements & foods all together.

As far as testing & proofs of particular natural & organic supplements/foods those proofs have existed for many many years – the problem is the use of the items/supplements in question & the dingleberries that claim to be experts telling people to take on thing and another without knowing what works with what & what causes other health issues etc. I studied natural medicine for years & there is a lot more to it than taking a vitamin when you’re sick or assuming that because it’s natural it won’t hurt you.

What should be restricted are the distributors not the supplements or the distribution all together.

eponymoushipster's avatar

Someone’s trying to kill Whole Foods, after I’ve spent all this money on reusable bags!?

dpworkin's avatar

Here is the article debunking the hysteria over the Codex Alimentarius, which is a project funded by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to normalize and harmonize food handling and selling procedures. It does not have the force of law. It is a series of recommendations.

bea2345's avatar

This is one of the things that make the UN an invaluable resource. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If an entrepreneur wishes to can mangoes, say, or sell dessicated coconut in a bag: if there are standards for such, the codex will have them. The standards are voluntary, but it is up to individual countries to decide whether to enforce them or not.

SmartAZ's avatar

IMO all official attempts to regulate anything have turned into protections for the corporations that sell those things. Protection that continues long enough results in regulating the corporations to death. Governments always pile restrictions upon restrictions until the only way an honest man can earn a living is by smuggling.

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