Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


NZ Food Safety Authroity: Folic Acid Advice

29 March 2006

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority today reiterated its advice to women who are planning to have a baby, or who are in the early stages of pregnancy, to take a folic acid supplement.

"It is also important to ensure that the supplement is of the appropriate dose," says NZFSA's Jenny Reid.

"The recommended daily dose is 0.8 milligrams (800 micrograms). This is readily available and affordable and is sold over the counter as a medicine at pharmacies.

"Because there are careful controls in place around the manufacture of products that are sold over the counter as medicines, women can be confident they are taking the right amount," says Ms Reid, Assistant Director, Joint Food Standards.

Folic acid is a vitamin necessary for the formation of blood cells and new tissue and is important for reducing the risk of having a child with a neural tube birth defect.

It is recommended that a 0.8mg daily supplement is taken four weeks before conception and during the first three months of pregnancy.

If folic acid has not been taken before pregnancy it is still worth beginning the supplement as soon as pregnancy is known or expected. 0.8mg supplements are only available over the counter at pharmacies.

Ms Reid, who is also a New Zealand-registered dietician, is currently working closely with the food industry and FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) on introducing folic acid to some foods sold within New Zealand.

A draft assessment paper on mandatory fortification is due to be released by FSANZ in May and there will be an opportunity for the public to make submissions on the proposals put forward.

NZFSA will make a further announcement when the paper is released. It will also be available on both websites: and

Meanwhile, NZFSA's extremely popular booklet, 'Food Safety in Pregnancy' offers food safety guidelines to those women planning a family, and includes information on folic acid.

It is available from lead maternity carers, public health units and doctors' surgeries and can also be ordered free from the NZFSA advice line: 0800 NZFSA1 (0800 693 721).

Further information is also available in 'Food and Nutrition: Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant Women' which can be downloaded from the Ministry of Health's website:


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news