No mandatory folic acid in bread

August 27th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

No surprise, but the Government has confirmed there will be no mandatory addition of into – at least for the next three years.

Today, Food Safety Minister said mandatory fortification of bread would be deferred until May 2012.

The Government and Bakers were now likely to focus on introducing a voluntary range of fortified breads.

The deferral was the “best way forward”, Ms Wilkinson said.

“I agree with public health advocates that folic acid is beneficial to the health of women and can prevent neural tube defects, but I also understand consumers overwhelmingly want to be able to choose whether or not the bread they buy is fortified.

“This approach will provide for consumer choice while also helping to address folate deficiency and increase the protection for babies resulting from unplanned pregnancies.”

Works for me.

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20 Responses to “No mandatory folic acid in bread”

  1. saffy (2 comments) says:

    I have six children of childbeating age and would definitely like to see the introduction of folic acid in bread. There seems to be a lot of mis-information about particularly that it should be a matter of choice for the pregnant woman. Well, by the time the woman knows that she is pregnant it is usually too late to have an effect as it is my understanding that the folic acid needs to be taken in the first 25 days of pregnancy to be really effective.

    We also need to protect those vulnerable, young mothers who have unplanned pregnancies. One of my daughters became pregnant at 20 but didn’t realise until she was around 10 weeks.

    Folic acid in bread has been mandatory in the USA and Canada since 1998 and has successfully reduced the number of babies born with a neural tube defect. (quote from NZFSA)

    If the USA, which is considered to give its citizens the most choice in the world, can do this then what is all the fuss about?

    There is such an anti-science bias in this country but it’s funny how quickly people run to science when they really get sick.

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  2. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (556 comments) says:

    “The Government and Bakers were now likely to focus on introducing a voluntary range of fortified breads.” – is the government intending to start a state bakery ? Bread queues and cabbage soup here we come.

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  3. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Two good decisions from the Nats within two days.

    Well, bugger me! Pity they couln’t get the Maori seats in the Supercity right and they could have had a trifecta.

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  4. Dumb Fuck 4 Justice (556 comments) says:

    @toad – they did get the Maori seats right.

    Presumably if the baking industry gets it’s shit together then the plans for mandatory fortification will be shelved.

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  5. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    works for me too.
    now I want an open discussion on the merits and unintended consequences before the 3 yrs is up.

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  6. ben (2,418 comments) says:

    Deferred?

    What, it’s a good idea in 2012 but not now?

    [DPF: I think the idea is that the risks of folic acid may be better known by then]

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  7. tvb (4,315 comments) says:

    What a contrast with the Labour Party. They wanted to medicate the whole population to save 14 children. But the lefties will not give up. They say women will not eat the medicated bread so we all have to have it. Labour can make this 2011 policy. I challenge them to do it. I suspect it will be quietly dropped.

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  8. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    consumers overwhelmingly want to be able to choose whether or not the bread they buy is fortified.

    So it’s ok to listen to consumers who want to decide what bread to buy, but it’s not ok to listen to parents who want to decide how to correct their children?

    It’s ok to act contrary to the Greens and Labour in this area, but we can’t upset them in another?

    Why can’t National at least use this commonsense “let’s wait for more definitive scientific results before deciding” approach when it comes to taxing thin air?

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  9. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    agree Majorbloodnok – how did they know? – where was the referendum? where was the “overwhelming” consensus?

    how were they able to “understand” exactly what the people wanted on this occasion ?

    where was the concern for Parliament becoming “derailed and consumed” by this?

    where was the “total focus on the economic situation”?

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  10. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I have six children of childbeating age and would definitely like to see the introduction of folic acid in bread.

    It would be better for you six children to start taking folic acid which can be obtained from the local chemist if they are considering bearing children instead of just relying on it being added to bread then eating what could be considered a very large amount to get an adequate dosage.

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  11. Camryn (553 comments) says:

    I have six children of childbeating age and would definitely like to see the introduction of folic acid in bread.

    Ah, childbeating age… can’t wait ’til I get there… little buggers.

    Seriously, as a member of a family with extremely high rates of prostate cancer, I’m glad we can still eat bread without making that worse.

    Potential mothers should just take multi-vitamins. I don’t buy the “didn’t know was pregnant” line. If you’re having unprotected sex and you’re not on the pill then you’re essentially trying to get pregnant and can take folate. It’s already in a bunch of cereals anyway. Furthermore, are those 14 cases this is supposed to prevent actually being born anyway… spina bifida is obvious on the ultrasound, so generally they’re gonna get terminated.

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  12. Herman Poole (297 comments) says:

    I have six children of childbeating age

    Don’t you know how to use a condom?

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  13. annie (540 comments) says:

    Folate only needs to be supplemented for women who don’t have a nutritionally adequate diet with green leafy vegetables, in particular. So women of childbeating age in fact have two choices – supplements, or eat properly.

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  14. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    So women of childbeating age in fact have two choices – supplements, or eat properly.

    Or they could stop beating children.

    Just saying.

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  15. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Tragic really that we have to even discuss this nonsense. I liked the idea from last month, put folic acid into KFC and McDs for everything bought between 10pm and 7am, that should fix most of it.

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  16. thehawkreturns (162 comments) says:

    Well, I guess this blog never claimed to attract people with an interest or knowledge of science.
    Fair enough. I just wish that the kids born in the next few years with NTD will be able to sue John Key and his bunch of
    soft lefties for their miserable physical deformities. At least the rest of us wouldn’t be paying for the poor
    buggers. And for those of you still opposed to folic acid in bread I hope you weren’t and didn’t force your own children to be vaccinated….same argument see.

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  17. Rich Prick (1,659 comments) says:

    Oh glory be, the market working to meet demand (if there happens to be any), instead of the fist of state regulation. Bliss.

    Thehawkreturns, well, I guess that it will be because the mothers who don’t bother buying their now market provided medicated bread, or suppliments that have always been available for that matter, will be responsible not John Key.

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  18. Rich Prick (1,659 comments) says:

    Kaya, I would have suggested contraceptions into KFC between those hours, but who am I to judge? I’m not Nanny, nor it seems is National.

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  19. Rich Prick (1,659 comments) says:

    Oh and for what its worth the vaccination analogy is just PR puff thanks to Labour and the Greens. Vaccination applies to too many different conditions but almost always to communicable disease where if some opt out they place every other child not exposed or otherwise immune, to risk. Not NTD, that is an inter-uterine condition and is most certainly not communicable to the community. Stop believeing the Greens and Labour on that point of spin.

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  20. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    I wonder how many of those wanting to dose the entire population with Folic Acid for the sake of 14 children, are equally concerned with the over 18,000 children annually who have their lives terminated?

    Our society is full of hypocrits.

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