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Is Dr. Rima Laibow Exaggerating About CODEX? August 8, 2008

Posted by angryscientist in Uncategorized.
188 comments

On June 14 I posted at the Gary Null Forum to update my original post, which questioned the motivations for certain outrageous statements Dr. Rima Laibow made about CODEX in a video, repeated nearly verbatim in an interview Gary Null did, which I heard on the local Pacifica station. I was careful not to embellish the story on Null’s forum, but I’ll state some of my conclusions at the end here. I got suspicious originally because of this appeal for money using the story of Laurie Jessop on her web site:

The family is in desperate need of support and legal assistance. The Natural Solutions Foundation is taking this threat to our collective Health Freedom and our Freedom of Speech very seriously. The Foundation will continue to assist and are building a network of natural physicians, Constitutional lawyers and other experts to be ready to act as “amicus curiae” – Friends of the Court – in similar cases. If you can help us fund or staff our Health Freedom Posse, please reply via email. Remember that your donations key to these battles!

Laurie Jessop requested emphatically that Health Freedom USA remove that appeal, but she was ignored. Orac has that linked on one of his posts attempting to prove Laurie Jessop’s story was just a hoax I made up. She never got a red cent from that appeal, only assurances that since her story was in the public domain, Health Freedom USA could care less how she felt about them using her story to raise money.

This was my original post at the Gary Null forum from Jan. 29 this year.

Dr. Rima Laibow has posted on her web site the video of her talk Nutricide – Criminalizing Natural Health, Vitamins, and Herbs.

The video begins with this: Let me tell you about Codex Alimentarius. Let me define it for you. Let me help you understand the enemy. And let me assure you, that absolutely nothing that I’m going to tell you is exaggerated, is interpolated, or is imagined. Everything I’m going to tell you is documented, and a great deal of it is documented on my web site.

At 16:18:

Let’s talk about milk. We have recombinant bovine growth hormone, and now we can choose milk with it or milk without it, butter with it, butter without it, right? Not under CODEX. Because under CODEX, every dairy cow on the planet must be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone. Furthermore, under CODEX, every animal used for food on the planet, whether it has fins, feet, or feathers, every animal on the planet must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics, must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics and must be treated with exogenous growth hormones. CODEX requires, mandates, that all food be irradiated, unless it’s eaten locally and raw. All food, including organic food, of course.

Those are exact quotes from her video. On the morning of 12/13/2007, I sent the following fax to Natural Solutions Foundation:

Subject: CODEX
I tried to send an e-mail, but your system kept giving me an error, claiming I hadn’t entered a subject! I heard Dr. Rima Laibow say CODEX will require all cows to be injected with rBST, and all food to be irradiated. Did I hear that correctly? Could I get a source for these statements? I went poking around the CODEX site, but couldn’t find anything like that. Is it hiding, or did I just not know where to look? Please respond via e-mail. Thank you.

I got no response. On 12/31/2007, I sent the following through their regular e-mail system, which had been fixed by then:

I heard Dr. Rima Laibow say CODEX will require all cows to be injected with rBST, and all food to be irradiated. Did I hear that correctly? Could I get a source for these statements? I went poking around the CODEX site, but couldn’t find anything like that. Is it hiding, or did I just not know where to look?

This is a second request. I tried to send this request for a source nearly three weeks ago, but your system kept giving me an error, claiming I hadn’t entered a subject! I sent a fax instead, but have received no response. If I do not get a satisfactory response within two weeks, I will assume there is no source and that Dr. Rima Laibow is exaggerating for effect, to frighten people into donating to this organization.

I still have received no response, and I’m out of patience. Can anyone document those statements, or am I to conclude they are exaggerations that cannot be documented? Dr. Laibow and her attorney Ralph Fucetola were prominently featured in Vaccine Nation, at least in the version premiered at the So. Calif. Health Support Group meeting on 12/09/2007. I think it’s detrimental to the credibility of the alternative health movement to have such people posing as authorities making outrageous statements that cannot be backed up about CODEX. Is that the intention? If not, what is the intention?

This was my update.

It has now been six months since I requested documentation of these claims. I did receive some responses shortly after I posted here, but these responses fall far short of what I’d consider documentation.

This was the first response, on Feb. 2:

Hi Alex! Certain foods are already being irradiated in this country, even without Codex and, as you must know, cows in many dairies have been getting the BST shot for years, though some dairies have stopped using it because of the problems it creates. Dr. Rima is in Africa at a Codex meeting and will be returning in a week. All you have to do is use the internet and google information on irradiation of foods, gm foods, foods that are sprayed with virusses, pasteuration of almonds, the list goes on and on! At our site at www.healthfreedomusa.org you can click on the tab along the heading about Codex and learn what is in the planning there! Or you can google Codex and learn a lot on the net. As for us trying to scare people into donations, we operate on a shoestring budget and most of the people on our mailing list are very aware of the power of the FDA/Feds/Pharmaceutical Companies. They are not scared by us– they are aware, educated and concerned about the monster the U.S. government is becoming. If you trust Big Pharma with your health, then by all means, stop using nutrients and enjoy their chemical mixes! But we choose the organic, non-irradiated, non gm foods that have NOT been sprayed with virusses! And we do not like the laws that the Powers that Be try to pass to keep us from having them. And frankly, we volunteers do not have the many hours it would take to see to your personal education. At the last Codex meeting, several small nations argued that GM foods should be labelled. The United States delegation insisted that they NOT be labelled because Americans won’t eat food that they know is GM. In other words, we should not have choices. This particular labelling issue is still up in the air. I am sorry if there are sometimes problems with the site- when we can afford to, we will have it upgraded. But you are wrong about the money. It is the PRO-Codex people who have lots of money- and they get it from the government and your taxes! -Kathy Greene for the Natural Solutions Foundation

I responded:

Thank you for the belated response. I asked for a source, not an education. I already knew most of that. This answer is evasion, not a satisfactory response. Dr. Laibow used the words all and every, not some. She was quite emphatic about it. I’m referring to her video Nutricide – Criminalizing Natural Health, Vitamins, and Herbs, about 16 minutes in. You are insulting my intelligence. I searched for anything to corroborate these claims. I found nothing. I did find on the blog, “All fruit and veggies imported into the US must be irradiated.” That’s not what Dr. Laibow said on the video, unless she means by locally grown, grown in the USA, and that all food is fruit or veggie. I also found something on your site noting that Europe and Canada have banned rBST. How does CODEX intend to get around that?

A week ago, tired of waiting, I transcribed the section of the video to post on the Gary Null Forum asking for corroboration of these claims. Nobody has volunteered any information. These are the exact quotes I posted there:

“Let me tell you about Codex Alimentarius. Let me define it for you. Let me help you understand the enemy. And let me assure you, that absolutely nothing that I’m going to tell you is exaggerated, is interpolated, or is imagined. Everything I’m going to tell you is documented, and a great deal of it is documented on my web site.”

“Let’s talk about milk. We have recombinant bovine growth hormone, and now we can choose milk with it or milk without it, butter with it, butter without it, right? Not under CODEX. Because under CODEX, every dairy cow on the planet must be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone. Furthermore, under CODEX, every animal used for food on the planet, whether it has fins, feet, or feathers, every animal on the planet must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics, must be treated with sub-clinical antibiotics and must be treated with exogenous growth hormones. CODEX requires, mandates, that all food be irradiated, unless it’s eaten locally and raw. All food, including organic food, of course.”

Nothing is exaggerated, and everything is documented? I want a reliable source. It should not take you hours to find me that source, if it exists. If I don’t get one soon, I’ll be blogging about this. Maybe for the benefit of Gary Null’s readers, Dr. Laibow should post her response to my post at his forum.

I note that in my original request, I left out the qualifier for cows, “dairy” (which should have been obvious), and for all food, “unless it’s eaten locally and raw” (which covers a great deal more than imported fruit and veggies).

Alexander Wren
AKA Angry Scientist

Ms. Greene responded on Feb. 9:

Hi Alex! Dr. Rima is still in Africa and will not be back for at least another week. I personally cannot give you the “very precise” info you seem to think is necessary, so I will forward this to her for answer when she can take time away from the Codex fight to make you happy. Since she does not carry files with her when travelling, you may simply have to develop some patience. I was not at all evasive in my answer to you- I do not personally save all the research I read and thus cannot quote it directly to you- Personally, I suggest that you go ahead and trust Big Pharma and the FDA and eat everything that the government tells you is safe– and then remember to take the stick out, so it can pass through! -Kathy

I waited until Feb. 28, then responded:

My patience is wearing thin. Once it gets to be three months since I asked for a source, about two weeks from now, I’ll post these insulting evasive replies from Kathy on Gary Null’s message board as evidence of your bad faith. Then I’ll think about what to write on my blog. Maybe you don’t realize many bloggers consider themselves journalists. Stalling a request for a source is highly suspicious.

Alexander Wren
AKA Angry Scientist

Ralph Fucetola JD responded on March 2:

Dear Mr. Wren,

Dr. Laibow is unavailable to answer your inquiry. She asked me to help you find the information you seek. She has reviewed, by her estimate, over 16,000 pages of Codex information and concluded that the results of those regulations would be to effectively mandate food irradiation and the use of rBST additives.

I just Googled “rBST Codex” and got a number of references from about ten years ago: rBST was the subject of Codex rule making, but the final decision has not been concluded, thus leaving rBST allowable in any amount for the world food trade as may be acceptable to the receiving country.

http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/animal_rBST.htm

“Consumers win rBST delay at Codex

“In a landmark decision by the international food standards agency, Codex, an application to have a standard set for the residue limits of rBST was rejected, following appeals by Consumers International at a Codex meeting in June 1997. The USA had requested an international standard for minimum residue limits for the hormone, which would have effectively given it a trading licence by Codex.”

There is a book on Google Book Search that talks about later developments:

Case Studies in US Trade Negotiations where the footnote on page 308 says that JECFA “concluded that bST residual levels in milk were very low and that bST naturally found in milk is nontoxic. According to JECFA no MRL was necessary when rbST was administered properly.”

According to Food Chemical News $1 No. 21, July 12, 1999, the Codex regs are being held at step 8, which is the step before finalization.

But, of course, US FDA policy is to “harmonize” with such regulations “even when not finalized…” (see Code of Federal Regulations, October 11, 1995 (60 FR 53078) so it is fairly clear that Codex permits rBST products to be sold in countries such as the US.

We are dealing here with the World Food Code, not our Anglo-American common law, so this is a situation where what ever is permitted may very well become deemed obligatory.

Here is a good overview of Codex and food irradiation:

“Within Codex, food irradiation is classified as an additive. Thus, food irradiation falls under the jurisdiction of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (CCFAC). CCFAC depends on several sources of information in evaluating food additives. In the case of irradiation, CCFAC draws from the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committees on Food Additives (JECFA) as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation (ICGFI). As shown in an October 2002 report by Public Citizen, Bad Taste: The Disturbing Truth About the World Health Organisation’s Endorsement of Food Irradiation,2 the WHO has relied on a very small number of faulty studies in declaring food irradiation safe; this unscientific and shoddy work is the foundation of acceptance of food irradiation across the world. *** Codex has become an instrument of the liberalization of international trade, instead of a method to protect the food supplies of peoples across the world.”

“Codex weakened the international food irradiation rule to allow any food to be irradiated at any dose, regardless of how high. The new Standard contains no maximum radiation dose to which foods can be ‘treated.’ The previous limit was 10 kiloGray, a dose of radiation equivalent to 330 million chest X-rays. At such doses, the chemical composition of foods can be altered; vitamins, proteins and other nutrients can be destroyed; and flavor, odor and texture can be corrupted.”

“Since Codex standards are enforceable through the World Trade Organization, member nations that have food irradiation laws stricter than the new Codex Standard could have their laws challenged and overruled.”

A number of web sites have interpreted the allowance of irradiated foods to be tantamount to requiring such processes. See: http://www.care2.com/news/member/410531040/649659

“If FDA and Codex has its way, all food will be irradiated…”

In my view, that which is permitted under Codex, and to which the US FDA will harmonize, becomes mandatory under the SPS Agreement (Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) and under WTO dispute resolution.

The process by which “voluntary” standards become WTO mandatory requirements is stated in many places:

“The Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods (CAC/RS 106-1979) was adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission at its 13th Session in 1979 and was subsequently revised in 1983 by the 15th Session. This Standard has been submitted to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO for acceptance in accordance with the General Principles of the Codex Alimentarius.”

http://www.caobisco.com/doc_uploads/legislation/STAN106-EN.pdf

I believe it is fair to conclude that the norm for international trade is routine irradiation of foods moving in international trade, and certainly those produced by the largest global food companies, where the economics of the situation dictate treating all food substances alike.

Thus, while I cannot say that 100% of all foods moving in international trade are now irradiated, I believe it appropriate to assert that nearly all of the bulk food supplies upon which the world relies for wholesome nutrition are likely to be irradiated. Of course careful producers of organic foods, herbs and spices will do their best to avoid irradiation, that that hardly amounts to a couple percents of the world food trade.

In a world of non-finalized but domestically binding international standards, routine practices of the food industry are international law in practice and confirm Dr. Laibow’s concerns.

Ralph Fucetola, JD
The Vitamin Lawyer.com Consultancy
http://www.vitaminlawyer.com/
http://vitaminlawyerhealthfreedom.blogspot.com/
All Rights Reserved . . .

—— Original Message ——
Received: Sun, 02 Mar 2008 04:14:59 AM EST
From: “Rima E. Laibow” (dr.laibow@gmail.com)
To: “Ralph Fucetola JD” (ralph.fucetola@usa.net)
Subject: Fwd: Contact: CODEX

Ralph, Dr. Laibow would appreciate it if you could respond to Mr. Wren.
Kathy

Finally an in depth response! I responded:

Thank you for your detailed response. However, I’m not buying your arguments. Here’s why. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FDA finds some excuse like CODEX to mandate rBST, but Dr. Laibow stated, “Because under CODEX, every dairy cow on the planet must be treated with Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone.” Our FDA doesn’t govern every dairy cow on the planet. You know as well as I the European Union would never go along with that. They’re pissed off enough as it is with US pressure to accept our genetically modified crops, and they’re not alone. Your argument is at best inconclusive. Dr. Laibow’s concerns may be justifiable, but that’s a far cry from claiming to have documentation that a worldwide requirement is already mandated, waiting for the right moment to spring it on an unwary world.

Regarding food irradiation, the link you cite at care2.com is to a posting from healthfreedomusa.org, hardly an independent source. You speak of “foods moving in international trade.” Dr. Laibow stated: “CODEX requires, mandates, that all food be irradiated, unless it’s eaten locally and raw. All food, including organic food, of course.” That goes a good deal further than “foods moving in international trade.” Besides, how could authorities know whether food will be eaten locally and raw, unless it is consumed at the premises it is sold, or originally produced? Are you implying eaten locally means the food doesn’t cross any international borders? I know most, if not all, imported foods are already required by US Customs to undergo irradiation or fumigation. You’re implying organic food might escape, but that’s not what Dr. Laibow said. At best, Dr. Laibow is jumping to conclusions about what might happen in a worst case scenario. You haven’t cited anything to document her outrageous statements, merely reasons why her concerns might be valid. This is not documentation. I’m a scientist. If you think you can snow me with your legal mumbo-jumbo, think again. So, is this the best you can do to document Dr. Laibow’s claims?

Evidently, that was supposed to be sufficient documentation; I’ve heard nothing since. I leave it to the reader to judge if my assessment is unfair or inaccurate.

This is an example of why the alternative health movement isn’t taken seriously. This woman and her lawyer go around making these eye-popping statements about what that nefarious CODEX is up to, but when asked to back them up, I got this crap. I don’t doubt CODEX is a threat to health freedom, but making these kinds of statements just gives the orthodoxy ammunition to say the alternative health movement is all quackery and doesn’t know what it’s talking about. They can point to Dr. Laibow as an example of someone well respected in the movement, supposedly an expert on CODEX, who makes outrageous unsubstantiated claims trying to scare people, and thus deserves no credibility. She may indeed be an expert on CODEX, but such easily disproven statements make her sound like she’s gone off the deep end. The medical orthodoxy is eager to exploit any weak link in the chain to cast doubt on the credibility of the alternative health movement. Is Dr. Laibow deliberately making that easier? If not, what’s her game? What’s the point of making claims she must know are exaggerated after making such a big point of saying

…absolutely nothing that I’m going to tell you is exaggerated, is interpolated, or is imagined. Everything I’m going to tell you is documented…

Like hell it is. She knows better. She’s doing this for a reason. Is it just to raise money from people naive enough to believe her? Or is her purpose more nefarious? Is she a spy on the alternative health movement, a plant to weaken it from within? The movement has enough trouble with unscrupulous profiteers who are in it for the money, not to help people. The quackbusters paint the entire movement with a broad brush, as if it’s nothing but a bunch of con artists selling snake oil. There are a few, along with some others who do help people, but think their particular remedy is a cure-all, or charge too much. All of this gets blown out of proportion, giving everyone questioning the orthodoxy a bad name. The last thing the movement needs is people making wild charges they can’t back up. The scientific truth isn’t on the side of the orthodoxy, but it can maintain its power as long as it can undermine the credibility of its critics. Critics who undermine their own credibility are doing the orthodoxy a big favor. I must question, whose side are they on?

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