Speak Your Mind On Supplement Regulation
by Wyn Snow, Managing Editor
now have two opportunities to express opinions about how supplements
should be regulated, both in the US and internationally. Since international
Codex regulations might
become binding for the US, it is crucial that
consumers communicate with the government about what the US policy
regulations may become "the law of the land" for the US because
they fall under the umbrella of the GATT treaty. The US became a
GATT signatory member in 1994. The World Trade Organization (WTO)
adjudicates disputes among members and has overall jurisdiction
in such matters.
was created in 1962 by two UN organizations, the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Codex
seeks to ensure that the world's food supply is sound, wholesome,
free from adulteration, and correctly labeled. Codex regulations
are intended both to encourage fair international trade in food
and to protect the health and economic interests of consumers.
practice, however, these dual goals of easing commercial transactions
for businesses and meeting the needs of consumers are not always
harmonious. In politics as in life, the squeaky wheel gets the grease:
it is vital for consumers to speak up and be heard.
Codex Committee on Nutrition And Foods for Special Dietary Uses
(which includes supplements) is meeting this November in Berlin,
Germany. Three US agencies (FDA, USDA, and HSIS) are sponsoring
a public meeting -- both to provide information and to gather input
for US Codex policy -- on Tuesday, July 30, 2002 from 1-4 pm in
attend the meeting, pre-register by July 15: Send your name, organization,
mailing address, phone number and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
People who cannot attend but wish to convey their opinions can email
their comments to email@example.com,
or send written comments to:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Washington DC 20250-3700
state that your comments refer to Codex
and, if your comments relate to specific Codex committees, please
identify those committees in your comments and submit a copy of
your comments to the delegate from that particular committee. All
comments submitted will be available for public inspection in the
Docket Clerk's Office between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through
Federal Register notice concerning the November Codex meeting
is available at www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a020530c.html.
Scroll down to Food Safety and Inspection Service. Among the items
listed there are text and pdf versions of "Meetings: Codex Alimentarius
Commission -- Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses Codex
Committee, 37772-37773 [02-13526]".
is also available on the US Food Safety and Inspection Service website:
as SupplementQuality.com reported last week, the US Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) is seeking comments about its approach to health
claims for foods, drugs, and dietary supplements.
Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 104, Thursday, May 30, 2002.
Food and Drug Administration.
Food Safety and Inspection Service, www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/Codex/.