Didn't they do this in the UK many years ago?

Bread to be fortified with folic acid
Page 1 of 2 7:00PM Friday June 22, 2007

Organic and non-year leavened breads are exempt from mandatory fortification. Photo / Herald on Sunday

The Government has decided to go ahead with mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid.

Food Safety Minister Annette King said the decision, jointly made with Australia, was "a triumph for humanity and common sense".

In New Zealand the acid would be added as the bread was made and Australia had decided to add it to flour.

"New Zealand women do not get enough natural folate in the diet to prevent a large number of babies being born with devastating neural tube defects, the most common of which are spina bifida and hydrocephalus," Ms King said.

Opponents of the idea have raised concerns that the fortification could have side effects such as an increase in the number of twins and bakers have said it would add costs. They also say it is unlikely women would eat the required 11 slices of bread per day.

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