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Expert Reactions

Folate-autism link research questioned – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 12th, 2016.

Independent experts are unconvinced by unpublished research reporting a link between expecting mothers’ levels of folate – a vitamin pregnant women are encouraged to take – and autism in children. Pregnant women are encouraged to take the B vitamin folate, as deficiency is linked to the development of lethal or debilitating birth defects. However researchers […]

SMC briefing: folic acid in foods

Peter Griffin posted in on May 29th, 2012.

Adding folic acid to foods is back on the table — here’s a chance to get your head around it. In 2009, the New Zealand government deferred a decision on whether to require fortification of bread with folic acid — to help raise levels of the nutrient folate in women of child-bearing age — citing […]

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Folate and vitamin B12 linked to cancer

Peter Griffin posted in on November 18th, 2009.

Treating people who have pre-existing heart conditions with folic acid and vitamin B12 could increase their risk of cancer and death from any cause, according to a new study in the Journal of American Medical Association. The study was conducted in Norway, which does not have folic acid fortification of its foods and hence was […]

Newsletter Digest: $1 million Science prizes, Folic acid, and the 3 Rs

Peter Griffin posted in on October 23rd, 2009.

PM dishes up $1 million in prizes The most lucrative prize for science ever offered in New Zealand has been created with the Prime minister’s Science Prize offering to a scientist or team working on groundbreaking research in New Zealand. The suite of prizes unveiled by the Prime Minister at Plant & Food Research total […]

NZ Herald: Study calls into question Govt’s folic-acid block

Peter Griffin posted in on October 23rd, 2009.

Martin Johnston of the New Zealand Herald writes about new research which puts to rest fears about a relationship between folic acid and cancer. The issue of mandatory folic acid fortification sparked intense public debate earlier this year, with the end result being a deferment of the issue until 2012. The research’s findings have prompted […]

NZ Herald: How the food industry buried the folic acid plan

Peter Griffin posted in on July 27th, 2009.

A New Zealand Herald article outlining how opposition from food industry groups helped defer mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid until at least 2012. Read in full here. An excerpt: Food Standards Australia New Zealand, on whose advice the last Government proceeded with mandatory folic acid fortification, admits to some uncertainties about the potential […]

Welma Stonehouse: The importance of folate

Peter Griffin posted in on July 27th, 2009.

Folate is essential for synthesis of DNA and is therefore required for all rapidly growing cells. Without folate living cells can’t divide and new cells can’t be made. “Therefore the need for folate is increased during situations when cell multiplication is needed such as pregnancy or any situation where cells are damaged and need to […]

Folic acid in bread: the saga

Peter Griffin posted in on July 21st, 2009.

The debate about whether to make the addition of folic acid mandatory in all New Zealand bread (barring organic breads) has raged long and hard over the last few weeks. Note: The Food Safety Minister’s public discussion document on folic acid is now open. Those who oppose it have cited health concerns – particularly the […]

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Folic acid sparks debate among scientists

Peter Griffin posted in on May 18th, 2009.

Concerns have been expressed about the possible negative effects of folic acid fortification, especially for those who are deficient in vitamin B12. An article in the Herald on Sunday yesterday highlights concerns about this standard. Here in New Zealand, the standard was passed recently requiring all bread manufacturers to fortify bread with folic acid by […]

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