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Codex Alimentarius

Virtually 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.

Codex 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 disputes—and trade sanctions imposed by the WTO are a powerful incentive for countries to change their regulatory standards.

Codex Alimentarius Commission

Codex is a UN-based organization that develops and publishes international standards for food and dietary supplements.

Consumer Alert - New Role of Codex

Describes 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.



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DSHEA: Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

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Codex Alimentarius Commission (UN)

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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.