October 18, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
As horrific as the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) guidelines are for health freedom, they are not necessarily the worst threat currently on the regulatory horizon. Far off the radar of most in the natural health community is the quietly-developing North American Trilateral Cooperation Charter (TCC), which threatens to merge the dietary supplement regulation guidelines of the US, Mexico, and Canada into a single, highly-restrictive regulatory paradigm.
The “Food & Nutrition” section of Health Canada’s “International Activities” website explains that TCC, which was officially signed by representatives from seven food, drug, health, and trade agencies of the three North American countries, is designed to “improve product safety” and “promote public health.” This is done by “facilitat[ing] the communication, collaboration, leveraging of resources, and the exchange of information on issues of mutual interest among the three countries”.
There are many problems with such a cooperative arrangement, but one specific area of particular concern is the document’s references concerning the collaboration of product regulation among the three countries. In the summary, Health Canada states that collaboration under TCC is “intended to cover all products,” including “dietary supplements, natural health products, and food.”
On the surface, efforts to mutually improve product safety by working together with one another may sound like a worthy goal. But a deeper investigation reveals that the real goal of the charter is to “harmonize” food and drug regulations among the three countries, which is also the goal of the global Codex Alimentarius guidelines.
We already know that the FDA is pushing for full control over dietary supplements, and intends to have supplement manufacturers comply with a regulatory approval process similar to what is required for drugs. Any such approval process is a clear violation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), which requires only a notification process for supplement ingredients.
It just so happens that in both Canada and Mexico, vitamins and dietary supplements are already treated like drugs, and are subject to excessive government regulatory guidelines and scrutiny. If the US merges its regulatory protocols with those of the two other countries … well, you know the rest.
Though there appears to be little that can be done to stop this formation of a North American Union, spreading the news about its existence and its greater agenda will at least help to expose it. And if enough people put pressure on their Congressmen to revoke or resist compliance with the charter, it may be possible to stop it from taking effect.