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Media Release: Paediatric Society pleased with new moves to prevent Spina Bifida

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Media release

Thursday 8 July 2021

Paediatric Society pleased with new moves to prevent Spina Bifida

The Paediatric Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) welcomes the announcement today by Food Safety Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall, that wheat flour will have mandatory fortification with folic acid within two years.

Dr Andrew Marshall Clinical Leader Child Health at Wellington Hospital said, “This announcement will finally allow New Zealand to join Australia, and most of the rest of the world, in fortifying food in a way that reaches the whole population.

“The United States and other countries have fortified their wheat since 1992, a move that prevents babies being born with Spina Bifida, a lifelong disability.

“The PSNZ has tirelessly advocated the Government for the introduction of mandatory folic acid fortification over the last 18 years, and continued to advocate during the prolonged period where voluntary fortification of some breads was shown to be ineffective in reaching the at risk population of pregnant women.

Ends

For further information or interviews please contact Dr Andrew Marshall on 0274561258.

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