30 Aug 2012

Inclusion of folic acid in bread to remain voluntary

4:15 pm on 30 August 2012

Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson has announced the fortification of bread with folic acid will remain voluntary.

The Paediatric Society has said adding folic acid to bread could prevent between five and 10 children a year being born with conditions such as spina bifida.

The Government's proposal to make it mandatory for commercial bakers to include folic acid in bread was put on hold in 2009, with Ms Wilkinson saying there was evidence to suggest it can increase the incidence of colon cancer.

After an eight-week public consultation process the minister has opted to stay with voluntary fortification.

Ms Wilkinson says she read all the submissions and the clear message is that people want choice.