Codex Alimentarius and GM Food Guidelines, Pt. 1… The beginning…
February 4, 2013 in Health
Updated excerpt from Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom
Monday, February 4, 2013…
Brandon Turbeville ( Follow @… o… note) — Activist Post
Over the last two years, I have written extensively about the Codex Alimentarius guidelines and how they relate specifically to vitamin and mineral supplements, food irradiation, and the use of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH).
I have also detailed the history and workings of the international organization as well as many of the current day to day manifestations of Codex guidelines as they appear in domestic policy.
However, there is yet another area in which Codex guidelines will play a major role in the development of food policy – namely, the proliferation of Genetically Modified Food.
The Codex committee that serves as the main battleground for the consideration of GM food is the Codex Committee on Food Labeling. This committee is extremely relevant due to the fact that it can effectively reduce the power of the consumer to virtually nothing if it decides not to force companies or countries to label their GM food, thus removing the ability of the consumer to boycott and/or avoid those products. While it is well-known that public sentiment is unimportant to those at the top, governments and corporations tend to pay more attention when votes and sales reflect that sentiment. However, if Codex continues on its’ way to allowing unlabelled GM food onto the international market, the repercussions of consumer reaction will be entirely neutralized.
A brief discussion of the history of Codex in terms of GM food is necessary here to understand the direction that the organization is moving towards in regards to it.
In 1993, at the behest of the Codex Commission, the CCFL agreed to begin working on the labeling aspect of GM food. Interestingly enough, the CCFL asked the United States, the country that was the most militant in its support of genetic modification, to develop a paper that would guide the committee’s discussion at the following session. When this session arrived, there was a flurry of opinions tossed around from several different countries. The most sensible position was that all GM foods should be labeled under any circumstances. Yet other countries, especially the pro-Gm ones, argued that labeling should only be required when there is the introduction of health or safety concerns, allergens, or when the food is significantly different from its traditional counterpart. This is a debate that largely continues until this day.
The concept of “substantial equivalence” versus “process-based” labeling has also become one of the most hotly contested issues within the Codex GM food labeling debate. Process-based labeling simply means that the driving factor behind the labeling guidelines is the process by which the food is created, grown, or otherwise produced. Therefore, the qualifying factor for labeling GM food would be the process of genetic modification itself, forcing all GM food to be labeled as such. This is essentially the mandatory labeling of all GM food. When this concept was first introduced in 2001, it was supported by such countries as the European Union, India, and Norway. Its staunchest opponents, of course, were the United States and Canada. Although this method of labeling standards was by far the most sensible if one were concerned about food safety and consumer rights of choice, it has been all but abandoned since the brief discussion at its introduction. The attention then has necessarily turned to the competing set of standards known as “substantial equivalence.”
“Substantial equivalence” guidelines are by far the most onerous means by which to label GM food outside of the scheme of voluntary labeling (such as what Canada has already pushed for).…
For your consideration… 04/02/13 ( Full Article Read… Recommended by Otter…)