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Codex Supplement Guidelines Approved

Silver Spring, MD (July 5, 2005) -- As had been widely expected, the Codex Alimentarius Commission approved the Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplement Guidelines yesterday at its meeting in Rome. These guidelines will now serve as a model for many countries that do not currently have supplement regulations in place, and may be used under World Trade Organization agreements to force countries to allow the importation and sale of products that conform to the guidelines.

“After more than a decade of debate and discussion, the Codex Guidelines have been finalized,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “And despite the fact that the document unfortunately downplays the importance of vitamin and mineral supplements, American consumers still have full access to dietary supplements that conform to our domestic laws.”

Opponents of Codex fear that the guidelines will allow the sale of only low-level vitamin and mineral products as dietary supplements, and that higher level products will become classified and regulated as drugs. The guidelines as adopted yesterday have not yet established maximum levels for vitamins and minerals, but include a commitment to do so based on scientific risk assessment.

The draft version of the Codex Guidelines is on the AHPA website ( The final version is identical, with the exception of the addition of the word “only” to section 1.3, which now reads: "These guidelines apply only in those jurisdictions where products defined in 2.1 are regulated as foods."


The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the national trade association and voice of the herbal supplement industry, the only trade association devoted solely to herbal issues. AHPA is the recognized leader in representing the responsible center of the botanical trade, and is comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products. AHPA’s mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of responsibility with respect to the way herbs are manufactured, labeled and sold. Website:

Karen Robin, Director of Communications
Telephone: (301) 588-1171, x-107

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