unknown in the United States except among supplement and food industry
participants, the Codex Alimentarius is a collection of food and
supplement standards developed and maintained at the international
level under a charter from the United Nations. While its breadth
and complexity give DSHEA supporters pause and its potential influence
on US markets is the subject of active debate, the Codex Alimentarius
exists outside of US law.
has two potential impacts on the US marketplace. First, multinational
manufacturers seek to "harmonize" standards across national boundaries
so that products can be formulated to a single standard and sold
in all countries. Second, the World Trade Organization (WTO) uses
Codex standards as a guide for deciding trade disputesand
trade sanctions imposed by the WTO are a powerful incentive for
countries to change their regulatory standards.
is a UN-based organization that develops and publishes international
standards for food and dietary supplements.
Alert - New Role of Codex
Codex's history and mission. Explains the process that Codex uses
for adopting food and supplement standards. Also presents the
potential trade implications of Codex standards for pressuring
countries to change their own regulations to match Codex standards.