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[aluminum sulphate] in foods has been condemned. It is universally acknowledged as a poison in all countries. If the Bureau of Chemistry had been permitted to enforce the law ... no food product in the country would have any trace of ... any aluminum or saccharin." Dr. Wiley was the major force behind the first pure food law in the United States, but he resigned in disgust because the laws were not being enforced. To this date, aluminum has never been tested for safety by the FDA.

Aluminum is a known neurotoxin, easily crossing the blood-brain barrier, and it interferes with ATP enzymes, which carry out the important function of energy transfer among brain cells. Aluminum worsens the effects of other toxins, such as pesticides, herbicides, mercury, cadmium, fluoride, lead, and glutamate. It also detaches highly oxidizing iron in the bloodstream from its protective carrier transferrin. This greatly increases the toxicity of iron and is at least one of the mechanisms by which aluminum is toxic to the brain. Warnings about the toxic effects of aluminum could, and do, fill volumes.

Aluminum ammonium sulfate, aluminum silicate, calcium aluminum silicate, sodium aluminum phosphates, and sodium aluminosilicate are the food additives that Codex was reviewing this session. They can be found in practically as many foods as you can imagine: vegetables, soybean paste, crackers, pastas and noodles, bagels, English muffins, pita bread, bread and baking mixes, chewing gum, milk and cream powder, processed cheeses, flours, batters for fish and poultry, dairy-based drinks such as eggnog, beverage whiteners, dried-whey products, salt, seasonings and condiments, soup and broth mixes, and sauces. And do not think that you can always look at labels and see them disclosed there because often the aluminum compound is hidden within a particular product identity.

The Working Group

One of the things you learn early on at Codex meetings is the importance of the various ad-hoc working groups that the Codex Committees form from time to time to deal with specific food topics. These working groups either take the form of "electronic" Working Groups (eWGs) or "physical" Working Groups (pWGs). In the same way that the Codex Committees perform the grunt work for the parent Codex Alimentarius Commission, the working groups perform the dirty work for the Committees. If a delegate wants to have an impact at Codex, it is important to start at the bottom of the food chain and work one's way upward.

At the Physical Working Group (as opposed to the Electronic Working Group) on the Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) that met on Friday, March 15-16th, and which was chaired by Mr. Paul Honigfort (a Consumer Safety Officer with the FDA), the NHF and the European Union repeatedly and harshly criticized aluminum-containing food additives and called for their removal. At various times the delegations of Iran, Japan, Brazil, and even China helped us by joining us in that call. But, we were opposed by the usual Codex suspects, the ones whom you would really think knew better – the delegations of Australia, the United States and Canada – and their handlers, those front organizations that masquerade as trade organizations, such as the International Food Additives Council (IFAC). Playing tag-team with IFAC on this issue was the International Council of Grocery Manufacturers Associations (ICGMA), another industry apologist for keeping aluminum in food additives.

In dishing out scorching criticism of aluminum and its proponents, NHF came under return fire from Australia, IFAC, and the Working Group Chairman! The arrogance of Australia was particularly notable since Australia seems to always be on the wrong side of the health issues at all Codex meetings. What's up with that? Is it ignorance or is Australia simply the point man for the United States on all of these issues? To my memory, Australia has never met an unhealthy Codex standard that it did not love. And "in your face" discussions by Katherine Carroll (a member of the NHF delegation) with Australia only confirmed Australia's intransigence and lack of interest in health.vv[aluminum sulphate] in foods has been condemned. It is universally acknowledged as a poison in all countries. If the Bureau of Chemistry had been permitted to enforce the law ... no food product in the country would have any trace of ... any aluminum or saccharin." Dr. Wiley was the major force behind the first pure food law in the United States, but he resigned in disgust because the laws were not being enforced. To this date, aluminum has never been tested for safety by the FDA.

Aluminum is a known neurotoxin, easily crossing the blood-brain barrier, and it interferes with ATP enzymes, which carry out the important function of energy transfer among brain cells. Aluminum worsens the effects of other toxins, such as pesticides, herbicides, mercury, cadmium, fluoride, lead, and glutamate. It also detaches highly oxidizing iron in the bloodstream from its protective carrier transferrin. This greatly increases the toxicity of iron and is at least one of the mechanisms by which aluminum is toxic to the brain. Warnings about the toxic effects of aluminum could, and do, fill volumes.

Aluminum ammonium sulfate, aluminum silicate, calcium aluminum silicate, sodium aluminum phosphates, and sodium aluminosilicate are the food additives that Codex was reviewing this session. They can be found in practically as many foods as you can imagine: vegetables, soybean paste, crackers, pastas and noodles, bagels, English muffins, pita bread, bread and baking mixes, chewing gum, milk and cream powder, processed cheeses, flours, batters for fish and poultry, dairy-based drinks such as eggnog, beverage whiteners, dried-whey products, salt, seasonings and condiments, soup and broth mixes, and sauces. And do not think that you can always look at labels and see them disclosed there because often the aluminum compound is hidden within a particular product identity.

The Working Group

One of the things you learn early on at Codex meetings is the importance of the various ad-hoc working groups that the Codex Committees form from time to time to deal with specific food topics. These working groups either take the form of "electronic" Working Groups (eWGs) or "physical" Working Groups (pWGs). In the same way that the Codex Committees perform the grunt work for the parent Codex Alimentarius Commission, the working groups perform the dirty work for the Committees. If a delegate wants to have an impact at Codex, it is important to start at the bottom of the food chain and work one's way upward.

At the Physical Working Group (as opposed to the Electronic Working Group) on the Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) that met on Friday, March 15-16th, and which was chaired by Mr. Paul Honigfort (a Consumer Safety Officer with the FDA), the NHF and the European Union repeatedly and harshly criticized aluminum-containing food additives and called for their removal. At various times the delegations of Iran, Japan, Brazil, and even China helped us by joining us in that call. But, we were opposed by the usual Codex suspects, the ones whom you would really think knew better – the delegations of Australia, the United States and Canada – and their handlers, those front organizations that masquerade as trade organizations, such as the International Food Additives Council (IFAC). Playing tag-team with IFAC on this issue was the International Council of Grocery Manufacturers Associations (ICGMA), another industry apologist for keeping aluminum in food additives.

In dishing out scorching criticism of aluminum and its proponents, NHF came under return fire from Australia, IFAC, and the Working Group Chairman! The arrogance of Australia was particularly notable since Australia seems to always be on the wrong side of the health issues at all Codex meetings. What's up with that? Is it ignorance or is Australia simply the point man for the United States on all of these issues? To my memory, Australia has never met an unhealthy Codex standard that it did not love. And "in your face" discussions by Katherine Carroll (a member of the NHF delegation) with Australia only confirmed Australia's intransigence and lack of interest in health.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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