Codex Alimentarius and the IdiocracyPosted: September 24, 2009
by Scott Tips
Published: Sep. 14, 2009 – News With Views
Three years ago a film came out of Hollywood that was conceptually great even if the execution was fatally flawed. Called Idiocracy, this comedy follows the mishaps of a character named Joe Bowers who is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but who, through a government hibernation experiment gone wrong, awakens to a society in the year 2505 that has become so stupid because of mass commercialism that Joe shines as a genius in comparison. After a predictable series of mishaps, the point is clear: We are on the wrong track in pushing dumbed-down, ‘me too’ concepts and products. Society will only worsen, not improve.
Organic vs. Artificial
It is a lesson that modern-day fighters for individual liberty learned decades ago. In ensuring and protecting freedom for the individual, we create a better society. On a pragmatic level, individual liberty is a concept that sees the health and happiness of the parts as leading to the health of the whole – not the reverse. Put another way, individual liberty is organic – when not blocked artificially, it flows naturally and creates healthy relationships in an ever-expanding web of mutually-beneficial interactions among people.
On the other hand, much of today’s political and economic structure is not organic but artificial. It comes from the Top down, not the bottom up. It does not flow naturally, easily, and quickly but with artificial constraints that are marked by dissension, delays, and waste. It is, by nature, coercive. ‘You do what we say because you have to and at the ultimate point of a gun. You do not do it voluntarily.’
With this in mind, we can see that the larger structures being created or expanded in the 21st Century are not geared to preserving or even considering individual freedom. Rather, they are all about mass uniformity and commercialism in their worst forms. Whether it is the European Union or the still-in-utero North American Union, their object is the same: stifling individualism in favour of a collectivistic uniformity. Yes, of course, lip service will be paid to the individual with such hollow slogans as ‘Land of the Free, Home of the Brave’; but it is still the Whole consuming the Parts. It is still artificial, stiff, and unnatural.
For those readers not familiar with the Codex Alimentarius Commission, it is just one more of these mass-uniformity structures. Originally created in 1962 by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization with the noblest of stated intentions – that is, to protect consumer food health and eliminate barriers to international food trade – the Codex Alimentarius Commission has been engaged in developing food standards and guidelines that will be imposed from the Top down. Captured by interests antithetical to health freedom, Codex is now well on the path to promulgating food rules that will lead to ‘dumbed-down’ health – a kind of health Idiocracy – for individuals throughout the World.
That is precisely why the National Health Federation (NHF), an international nonprofit consumer health-freedom organization, has been sending me to these Codex committee meetings every year for ten years in a row now. Having obtained official Codex observer status, the NHF is able to attend and speak out at these meetings. It is also able to submit, and has submitted, written arguments in favor of health-freedom positions at many of these meetings. As the only health-freedom organization accredited by Codex, NHF has almost always been the lone voice striving to eliminate oppressive standards and guidelines while enhancing consumer freedom of choice. The other delegates and organizations at these meetings are basically FDA-style bureaucrats and trade organizations with their own special commercial interests and agendas.
In particular, NHF has opposed the Codex Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplement Guidelines that were adopted in framework form in 2004-2005, and that will limit access to healthy dietary supplements as well as ‘dumb down’ their potencies to non-beneficial levels. These maximum upper permitted limits have not yet been set. However, if the Germans, Danes and others have their way, then ridiculously-low limits will be imposed that will ensure that supplements pose no competition with their pharmaceutical industry. For example, the German Institute (BfR) that has conducted ‘research’ into this area has determined that niacin is dangerous to consumers at levels higher than 17 milligrams per capsule! This is the madness that they would impose upon the rest of us as they die from their drug-and-sausage-induced heart attacks. That is a party we have no intention of joining!
In another area, ironically enough, the EU and NHF have worked together at the Codex Committee on Food Labelling meetings to see that genetically-modified foods are labeled as such for the consumer. In this case, the North Americans, joined by the Argentineans, Australians, and New Zealanders, are the bad actors, contending, as the American delegate has said, that “the consumer is too ignorant to understand GM-labelled foods.” So far, this battle has been a draw but NHF has been aggressively vocal at each of these meetings arguing for the right of the consumer to know what he or she is eating.
Codex guidelines and standards cover many more subjects than those just mentioned. Ranging from oils and food additives to pesticides and natural mineral waters, Codex is involved. And while these standards are ostensibly to be applied to international trade, the Codex Strategic Plan specifically states – and almost all countries agree – that they will be applied domestically as well. It is just a matter of time, they say.
Bigger Is Not Always Better
In the European Union, which began innocently enough as nothing more than a Customs Union, decisions – important decisions – are increasingly made by the European Commission in Brussels. Each year, fewer and fewer decisions are being made in Dublin or London or Paris or Madrid. The natural tendency of governments and their institutions to grow over time is asserting itself, inexorably, like the laws of gravity and space. Power is being sucked in to the Center. It is being increasingly centralized.
And therein lies the major problem, for the more that you distance the power wielders from those over whom they exercise that power, the more corrupt and arrogant they will become and behave. It is ultimately about accountability, and you cannot have true accountability when the rulers are not immediately and directly accountable to the citizens.
The problem with the latest attempt to accumulate even more power in the hands of the EU Superstate, through the Lisbon Treaty, is that the rulers and the ruled will become even more distant from one another than they already are! Centralization of power is the bane of freedom. As rulers become less accountable to their subjects – or citizens – they will become more corrupt and more likely to do harm.
But as unlikely as it may seem now, there is another, more important reason to shun centralization: Increased concentration of power attracts sociopaths to it like flames attract moths. Such power in one place is irresistible to those who crave it. This is hard for the average decent person to comprehend, but sociopaths do exist and they do gravitate towards power. A more powerful Brussels will be an even stronger magnet for the future power-mongers of the World. Do we really need to invite another Hitler or Stalin to rain ruin down upon us?
The Banality of Centralization
While some might scoff at a future EU dictator in the same way that the Germans scoffed at a Nazi Germany in the 1920s, even the scoffers must accept the very real risk – I would say certainty – that a more powerful and centralized European Union will result in the banality of life – its ‘dumbing down’ as political, economic, and social life is forced into an artificial, bureaucratically-crafted mold of European uniformity.
This is already taking place. The heavy hand of distant bureaucrats is felt throughout the EU’s member states over the littlest of details – from weights and measures to employee relations to vitamin and mineral food supplements. Think of any aspect of your life in the European Union and the EU Superstate is involved at some level. Again, distant bureaucrats making important decisions about your life.
Codex and the EU
This, too, is where the worlds of the EU and Codex intersect. Unknown to the average citizen, the Codex Commission and Committees are trundling along, each year, making rule after rule that its member countries, the EU included, are expected to adopt – both in international trade and domestic trade. There are treaties and agreements that exist right now that commit the member states to adopting these Codex ‘guidelines.’ These include, but are not limited to, the Technical Barriers to Trade and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreements, and the EU is a signatory to both of these.
At Codex meetings, the EU representative has been pushing his narrow view that consumers must be protected from vitamin and mineral food supplements. They are too strong in potency and there are too many ‘unproven’ ones, he claims, so they must be ‘dumbed down’ to a level that will be of no benefit to anyone except to the pharmaceutical companies whose profits are protected by the elimination of competition. The EU representative at the Codex Committee dealing with this issue has immense influence; and I have even seen him giving instructions to the Committee Chairman right in front of the other delegates during the meeting. That is how bold it has become!
So the EU Superstate – claiming all the while that it of course has the best interests of the consumers in mind – is pushing reduced potency and variety of supplements within the EU and internationally through Codex. Within the EU, Ireland, Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands (being the most liberal countries, permitting the sale of a wider variety and higher potency of supplements) will be the first to fall (at the end of this year through EU Food Supplements Directive – not because of Codex as some misinformed persons will tell you), to be followed later at some as-yet-to-be-determined date by global Codex rules. The United States and Canada, represented as they are by food bureaucrats of their own, are happy enough to be along for the ride.
Unless resisted successfully, the end result will be EU markets full of foods that are less healthy without the availability of food supplements to bridge the gap. The Idiocracy will have arrived – literally – as the general population is starved of real nutrition for their brains and bodies. A compliant, non-rebellious citizenry, what more could our distant Rulers ask for?
The Codex Alimentarius and the WTO