Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification Part 2

March 3, 2010

The millerIn my last blog I wrote about the implementation of Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification and began speaking of the effects it has. Now I will continue to write about the negative implications it has.

Many countries have begun to seriously question the entire concept of Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification (MFF). Ireland put the whole matter on hold in 2006 after finding that target populations were obtaining sufficient folate from their diets under a regime of voluntary folic acid fortification (VFF). In August 2009, New Zealand deferred MFF until at least 2012 pending a review of emerging scientific feedback. Some 87% of the NZ population were opposed to the introduction of MFF. The UK has followed a similar strategy. The USA, which has had MFF in place for 10 years, is currently reviewing its stance, in the light of the strong correlation between MFF and increased levels colorectal cancers.

The implementation of the process is particularly flawed. The legislated range of folic acid addition of 2 – 3 mg/kg of flour is difficult to achieve, verify and guarantee reliably. The other problem is that folic acid denatures over time and at varying rates depending upon product moisture content, ambient storage conditions and reactions with and between the various flour mix ingredients. Several months out from manufacture it is virtually impossible for any responsible manufacturer to guarantee either the folic acid content or quality.

The legal requirement is an unrealistic and unachievable nonsense which should not have been imposed on the flour millers, blenders and baking industry, especially as this is not the most effective and safest way to ensure folic acid fortification. Non-conformances are inevitable. Public and Product Liability Insurers are also reluctant to insure against future liability risks associated with this poorly thought out and inequitable legislation. This is a legal, health and financial minefield that invites civil disobedience on the part of flour millers and blenders and should compel public outrage.

MFF also restricts Consumer freedom of choice. Apart from organic flours technically no flours are exempt. Boutique gluten free flours like ours fall into a grey legal area.

MFF and its likely consequent side effects and negative publicity is something that Soy Products (Sales) Pty Ltd does not want to be involved in or held responsible for. We wholeheartedly support the well informed stance adopted by Mr. Mark Laucke, the current President of the Flour Millers Council of Australia.

It is our view that folic acid should be prescribed only for those sectors of the population who require it, namely women intending to become pregnant and pregnant women and that the dosage should be properly regulated and monitored to meet their specific needs. Suitable supplements are already commercially available. This is more easily, cheaply and reliably controlled and would be more effective and safer for the whole community including the expectant mothers.

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Related posts:

  1. Inside The Gluten Free Kitchen
  2. Mandatory Folic Acid Fortification Part 1
  3. The Dangers of Acidity and Sodium

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CeliacWarrior (Paul Smith)
March 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm

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