Are you, like me, a health-aware person?
Do you personally take vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements to enhance health and to prevent common diseases?
Photo credit: Pam Roth
If so, how angry would you get if your country was going to shut off the opportunity for you to buy and consume these products?
Yes, you read it right.
How mad (or better, how bad) would you get if new laws forced producers of these nutrients to severely scale down dosages and to require doctors' prescriptions to buy them?
Well, the time is coming: and it is not too far away at all.
If you sincerely care about the importance of being free to buy and consume your mega-doses of vitamins and minerals, now it is the time you can do something to prevent this from happening.
The FAO and WHO organizations are pursuing a drug style risk assessment on nutrients, just like those done for new pharmaceutical products.
While the officially stated goal is "to define a "scientifically-based and internationally applicable approach for nutrient risk assessment" the actual one is to set very restrictive standards for the use and consumptiom of nutritional supplements, to the effect that I will not be able anymore to buy or consume orthomolecular doses of any vitamin or mineral without a doctor's prescription.
But read closely:
"An announcement concerning a joint Nutrient Risk Assessment Project was issued earlier this year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The goal of the project is supposedly to define a 'scientifically-based and internationally applicable approach for nutrient risk assessment.'
One of the key parts of the Project is the convening of an interdisciplinary technical workshop to develop a scientific model for nutrient risk assessment.
A 'Call for Experts' to take part in this workshop was recently made by the FAO/WHO, and it is anticipated that the workshop will be scheduled for May 2005.
Why is this important?
Because the FAO and the WHO are the joint administrators of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the results of their nutrient risk assessment project will be hugely influential upon the maximum levels to be set in connection with
the Codex Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements.
However, quite aside from the fact that applying risk assessment models to dietary supplements is both unnecessary and totally inappropriate one should be very concerned about the transparency of the FAO/WHO Nutrient Risk Assessment Project, as there is currently no indication as to whom, specifically, will be making the selection of experts to take part in the workshop.
In order for the Nutrient Risk Assessment Project Workshop to have the confidence of both the public and the scientific community it is clearly essential that the selection of experts to take part in it is conducted with the very highest standards of transparency.
Those who are concerned about maintaining their access to dietary supplements should email FAO-HQ@fao.org and firstname.lastname@example.org and request that the FAO and WHO make public the names of the person or persons who will be selecting the experts to take part in the workshop to develop a scientific model for nutrient risk assessment."
Issue is: there is a lot of concern about the transparency of the FAO/WHO Nutrient Risk Assessment Project, as there is currently no indication as to who, specifically, will be making the selection of experts to take part in the workshop.
I therefore personally invite anyone who is seriously concerned about maintaining access to dietary supplements to immediately follow the advice above and the sample email below.
Further information about the FAO/WHO Nutrient Risk Assessment Project can be found at the following link:
A SUGGESTED TEXT FOR YOUR EMAIL TO THE FAO/WHO:
(copy and paste directly into your email program)
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to express my concern at the lack of transparency in the selection of experts to participate in the FAO/WHO Nutrient Risk Assessment Workshop.
I note from your website that the selection of experts will be made by FAO/WHO, but I have thus far been unable to find any information regarding who, specifically, within the FAO and WHO will be making this selection.
In order for the Nutrient Risk Assessment Project Workshop to have the full confidence of both the public and the scientific community it is clearly essential that the selection of experts to take part in it is conducted with the very highest standards of transparency.
I therefore request that in the interests of transparency you make public the names of the person or persons who will be selecting the experts to take part in this workshop.
Your name, last name, contact
Dietary supplements cause nearly no injury, to the contrary, they improve health. Hence, it appears somewhat questionable applying of drug-type risk assessment models to them.
Consideration should also be given as to how many resources would be diverted by doing this risk-assessment on vitamins from other risk assessment work covering the numerous toxic drugs and medical procedures that do already cause tangible and widely reported injuries.
Food for thought.
Some useful readings:
- Safety of Dietary Supplements
- Death by Medicine
- An Open Challenge To The Ridiculous Dietary Allowance (RDA)
- Codex Alimentarius: A Threat To Your Vitamins
- All About Codex: What is it and why you should know more about it
Who will be gaining the most from the consequences of such health politic if world governments, prompted by the FAO/WHO findings will start banning the free sale of vitamins and other nutritional supplements worldwide, while requiring doctor's prescription to buy them?
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