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Turner backs bakers over folic acid

Thursday, 20 July 2006

Turner backs bakers over folic acid

United Future health spokeswoman Judy Turner has taken up the cudgels on behalf of the New Zealand Association of Bakers' concerns about the proposed mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid.

The regulatory agency, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, is proposing all bread-making flour in New Zealand be fortified by folic acid to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in new-born babies.

"What's proposed is, in effect, the mass medication of New Zealanders for a condition that affects very few and the level of folic acid proposed would mean that pregnant women would still have to take supplements to get the right amount of folic acid," said Mrs Turner.

"In addition, the bakers say there are clear health risks to the elderly and children through ingesting too much folic acid."

Mrs Turner has written to the Minister for Food Safety, Annette King, seeking an extension to the consultation process "as the issue is certainly more complex than In have ever been led to believe".

ENDS

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