Laurie Powell President of the New Zealand Association of Bakers is opposing the compulsory addition of folic acid in the bread as it would not have the desired effect.
Folic acid addition in bread is made compulsory by the government to reduce the number of Neural Tube Defects (NTD's), in babies by ensuring that women of child-bearing age consume enough folic acid. But Mr. Powell also said that compulsory fortification of bread will not have the desired effect and has the potential to introduce a range of unnecessary health risks to other segments of the population.
Mr Powell has urged the Minister of Food Safety, Annette King and her Australian counterparts, to re-think the proposal and to adopt a combination of voluntary fortification in food stuffs and create awareness by education. Mr Powell said that there are potential health risks associated with the consumption of folic acid, among the older people and children. He said that a better option would be to combine voluntary fortification of a variety of foodstuffs, education and supplements to ensure women of child-bearing age have enough of their daily folic acid requirements. He also said that studies show that there would be strong resistance from New Zealanders, including women of child-bearing age against the decision of compulsory fortification.