The Codex Alimentarius Commission is responsible for implementation of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Food Standards Program. This program was established to develop international food standards in the interests of enhancing consumer protection and ensuring fair international trade in food products. The commission has more than 25 active committees dealing with a variety of food-related issues. Guidelines on the composition and labeling of vitamin and mineral supplements are currently under consideration by the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Use (CNFSDU).

Impact of Codex Guidelines on the United States

The adoption of final Codex Supplement Guidelines by the Codex Commission will not threaten the freedom to access dietary supplements and information about supplements that are guaranteed in the United States. No amendment, repeal or other change to Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) would be required, as a matter of U.S. law. Therefore, the guidelines will not have any practical impact on sales of dietary supplements in the United States, by either suppliers or retailers. DSHEA will continue to govern domestic sales.

What the Natural Products Association is Doing

NPA has lobbied for the adoption of DSHEA-style laws or regulations in the international arena. NPA has been and will continue to be very active with the Codex Commission by attending meetings and filing comments that press for Codex's adoption of DSHEA and other provisions of U.S. law, such as the ability to use structure/function and health claims.

What You Can Do
Keep up to date on Codex issues related to the natural products industry by visiting this site. Please also sign-up to receive action alerts in NPA's Advocacy Action Center. Were your access to dietary supplements and other health products to be threatened, whether domestically or internationally, you will hear from NPA with specific instructions about actions to take.

Key Information

Tuesday, August 2, 2005
President Bush Signs CAFTA Trade Agreement...Read More>>

Codex FAQ

The Natural Products Association's Position on Codex

Congressional Research Service Report on Codex [pdf]

For Retailers: Codex Fact Sheet

Codex Alimentarius Official Web Site

USDA Codex office