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Article: DSHEA Today. Codex Next?

DSHEA Today. Codex Next?

Herbs and supplements are regulated. That statement may come as a surprise because there has been a very strong political campaign to create just the opposite impression. The Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) is the legislation that regulates our industry. Even the FDA feels that DSHEA gives adequate authority to remove dangerous products from the marketplace. So, why are your vitamins constantly under threat? Could it have something to do with the largest lobby in our country?

When western pharmaceutical companies describe alternative medicine they use phrases like “have not been subjected to careful scientific studies.” They site potential for harm. Just a click away on their web sites is lists of side effects for pharmaceutical treatments. These lists are long and scary but certainly don’t show “potential for harm.” In order to protect us from natural medicine, the pharmaceutical industry has gone through the World Health Organization (WHO) to create an international regulatory body that pushes an arbitrary standard on a global level. The group is known as Codex Alimentarius and in July of this year in Rome they ratified guidelines that are more restrictive than DSHEA. This may create new pressure to change U.S. law.

Strangely, tucked into the CAFTA agreement that recently passed by two votes were the Codex recommendations. Unfortunately, trade agreements favor huge corporations and harm locally produced goods. Be that as it may, we are facing an international body with a history that is complex, secretive, and its purpose suspect.

Health activist, Eve Hillary, writes, “The proposed Codex restriction on nutrients is dangerous and arguably genocidal. It is the same as if a corporation were to deplete the earth’s atmosphere of oxygen and then monopolize and regulate people’s supply and intake of ‘supplemental’ oxygen, calling oxygen a ‘drug’ that can only be purchased at an exorbitant price from the corporation that caused the problem in the first place. There is no difference.”

On the other side of the equation are four out of every ten people in the United States who choose to visit alternative medicine practitioners and, when prayer is included, one-third of us use some form of alternatives in our health care. We read up on the latest in good nutrition and we talk with our friends about what they are taking. 

There is currently legislation under consideration known as the Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act (HR3156). It would give FDA authority to ban virtually any herb or specialty product at the discretion of one person, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The bill may not only deny fair access to herbs and dietary supplements that have been used safely for thousands of year but also cause them to be more expensive.

We have published in this space prior articles on all that is done to protect your safety while using the OHCO herbs. If you would like a reprint, send an e-mail to or call 303-674-2466. Please comment to your congressperson and senators in support of individual rights in relation to complementary health care and natural supplements.

There is a healthcare crisis in our country and there are those who will try to tell you it is about being uninsured. As the poverty rate climbs and HMOs grow, health care must be about education and choices. The supplement industry has an enviable safety record relying on natural medicines developed over thousands of years. We are talking about essential nutrients and the ability to change health on a deep and profound level. Depriving us of access to alternative health care is equivalent to depriving us of human rights.

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