27 Aug 2009

Government defers mandatory folic acid in bread

11:11 pm on 27 August 2009

Introduction of mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid will be deferred until May 2012.

Under a trans-Tasman agreement signed by the previous Government, it would have been mandatory for bakers to add folic acid to products from next month. The vitamin prevents neural tube defects in babies.

Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson says the focus will now be on introducing a voluntary programme for folic acid. Bakers this week decided to support the programme.

Ms Wilkinson will meet the Paediatric Society and the Bakers Association in the next month to discuss which bread lines will be fortified.