Laurel recently got an email warning that vitamins with a potency over the RDA will be available by prescription only soon, for an international group called CODEX will be taking our good old American supplements away if we don’t stop them.
I told her that this sounded like an Internet “urban legend.” And indeed it is, according to the great debunking web site, Snopes. Yes, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in concert with the World Health Organization (WHO), does have a Codex Alimentarius Commission.
But it certainly isn’t true, as this web site breathlessly proclaims, that “an international pharmaceutical trade-group cartel known as CODEX is preparing to limit dietary supplements to RDA-quantities only, and make any supplement over the RDA a prescription-only item.”
Snopes points out that the laws of each country govern how supplements are regulated. I’ve heard that DHEA, which I take in a probably futile effort to postpone the aging process, isn’t sold over the counter in Europe, while it is in the United States. The Codex Alimentarius Commission is working to establish international food standards, but compliance with those standards is voluntary. And I don’t see Congress passing a law that would take our mega-doses of Vitamin C away.
My public relations recommendation to the FAO and WHO is that they come up with a better name for the Codex Alimentarius Commission. It sounds like something out of the DaVinci Code—a shadowy global cabal that is out to control our alimentary tracts. The commission explains that this name came from a similarly-termed effort in the Austro-Hungarian empire between 1897 and 1911.
Come on, though. We Americans don’t trust international groups, and especially not those with mysterious Latin-sounding names. I also would recommend that the commission tone down its rhetoric a bit. After recently seeing (and writing about) “The Yes Men,” a documentary about some guys who put up a fake WTO web site, I was initially suspicious that the Codex Alimentarius Commission Internet presence was for real.
These lines sound just like something the Yes Men would have put into one of their WTO spoof speeches: “It is difficult to imagine a world without the Codex Alimentarius. It has been said that if Codex did not exist, somebody would have to invent it.” Yet this comes from a “Codex and the Future” page on what I am assured is the real Codex web site.
We’re relieved that our vitamins appear to be safe. For now. All I can say is that if those United Nations thugs show up at our house in their black helicopters we won’t go down easily. They’ll have to pry our beloved supplements out of our warm wrinkled hands. (See "A Vitamin Creation Story" to better understand our worshipful relationship with these health enhancing sacraments).