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August 15, 2008

Codex Alimentarius Commission designates GMOs as contaminants in food

by Gregory Damato, Ph.D

The latest Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting held in Geneva recently concluded with some interesting outcomes.

Some long simmering acrimony has begun to surface as the U.S. continues to force the biased agendas of Big Pharma, Big Chema, Big Agra and the like forward without considering the input of many other countries. Typically if the U.S. does not want a country's input, the host country simply denies their official delegates visas to the meeting. Several countries have recently objected to this practice and stated that because of this and other reasons, decisions made by codex in their absence do not have international legitimacy.

One major point of contention has been the U.S. and Codex's staunch refusal to allow labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and virtually all African countries and the 26 countries of the EU (European Union) have fought the U.S. for nearly 18 years to allow mandatory labeling of GMOs. The U.S. fallaciously considers GMOs equal to non-GMOs solely based on a 1992 Executive Order from then-president George H. W. Bush, therefore no pre-market safety testing occurs on any GMOs before they are released into the food chain in the U.S. The FDA refuses to review any safety data except for a single, preliminary review early in the organism's development.

Opponents of the U.S. policy prohibiting labeling of genetically modified food conclude that the U.S. does not want GMOs labeled because of the potential legal ramifications and liability to the manufacturers and to the U.S. government if these foods could be traced. If millions of people are harmed or killed due to the instability of the inserted DNA promoter viruses and marker bacteria into GMOs when interacting with the dynamic and fluid structure of the human body, then millions of lawsuits may result. But, if they are totally untraceable, then zero corporate or government liability can be assessed. FDA scientists have repeatedly warned about releasing GMOs into the general food supply because of their dangers, but have been routinely ignored or overruled.

Prior to the Geneva meeting, the Codex Committee on Food Labeling met in Canada. The meeting concluded with several pro-mandatory GMO labeling nations angry that Codex had not objectively analyzed the empirical research detailing the dangers of GMOs that South Africa prepared. This document delineated the necessity of mandatory labeling of GMOs, but was ignored and subsequently withdrawn on U.S. pressure of an independent nation (South Africa). As a result, several countries planned to scrap the requirements of Codex and adopt their own labeling system for GMOs in an effort to curtail the spread of "lethal" food. This had led to a real quandary for the WHO (World Health Organization) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).

According to Rima E. Laibow, M.D., medical director of the Natural Solutions Foundation ( , who was a public observer at the latest meeting in Geneva, the WHO and FAO have finally stepped in and decided to undertake a program designed to identify low-level contamination of GMOs in food. The definition of low-level contamination will still depend on each individual country's standards. For example, the U.S. currently allows for up to 10% (the highest of any country in the world) of GMO contamination of organic foods and amazingly still allows them to be considered USDA certified organic. Governments that actually care about the health of their people, like the EU, allow only 0.9% contamination, while other countries permit merely 0.1%.

The WHO and FAO used the term contamination and simply did not describe the GMOs as being mixed in with normal food. This term is also very noteworthy as most research on the dangers of GMOs can no longer be denied. The U.S. of course, vehemently objected to such a designation, but this time to no avail. Although not going as far as to require mandatory labeling of GMOs, this recognition by WHO and FAO (the parent bodies of Codex) that GMOs can contaminate food is a huge win for health freedom. Expanding that requirement to mandatory labeling is the next logical step, but is still a work in progress. The Natural Solutions Foundations in-country work with African and other pro-health nations can be expected to markedly strengthen this trend as unease and distrust of GMOs escalates internationally.

Natural News

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