Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Folate document open for submissions

6 July 2004 Media Statement
Folate document open for submissions

A discussion document on whether folate fortification of food should remain voluntary or become mandatory is now available for public submissions, says Minister for Food Safety Annette King.

The consultation paper, jointly prepared by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Health, looks at the two options.

Increased intake of folate in the early stages of pregnancy is universally accepted as a way of reducing the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida. Approximately 25-35 children are born with NTDs in New Zealand each year.

The Ministry of Health’s policy advice for the prevention of NTDs in New Zealand recommends women planning a pregnancy take 800 mcg of folic acid daily for four weeks before conception and 12 weeks after conceiving. Women at high risk of having a baby with a NTD are advised to take 5000 mcg folic acid daily over the same period.

In September 2003, the Ministry of Health released a report, Improving Folate Intake in New Zealand: Policy Implications. A key recommendation was to consider introducing mandatory folate fortification of food to better protect women planning, or in the early stages of, pregnancy. Internationally, mandatory fortification has reduced NTDs by between 19 and 50 per cent.

Ms King said although current policy allows for voluntary fortification of certain food products with folate, there has not been sufficient uptake by the New Zealand food industry to achieve the level of protection required.

The advantages of mandatory over voluntary fortification are that it would deliver the benefits of folic acid to a wider population and potentially reach more women of child-bearing age, regardless of ethnicity and socio-economic status.

The Australia New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council has recently agreed to a policy guideline on fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals. This provides Food Standards Australia New Zealand with a framework for reviewing the current provisions for new fortification considerations.

New Zealand consultation on mandatory folate fortification was timely, Ms King said. “Consultation will provide an opportunity for policy issues in the New Zealand context to be identified, and for New Zealand expert stakeholders to inform the policy development process in this area.”

Submissions close on 20 August. The discussion document is on the website, www.nzfsa.govt.nz, or hard copies are available by request from NZFSA.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election