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Scientific evidence supporting folic acid fortification of flour in Australia and New Zealand.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



Fortification of flour with folic acid is a safe, sustainable, and cost-effective approach for preventing spina bifida and anencephaly, and it is likely to confer multiple health benefits to the adult population. Scientists and advocates are bringing this intervention to the attention of policymakers in countries around the world, and consequently the demand for sound, science-backed policy rationale is increasing.


We recently prepared this scientific review for scientists, physicians, and advocates who were promoting mandatory folic acid fortification of flour in Australia and New Zealand. This short document references the most relevant published scientific data and national and international recommendations from other countries and presents an argument for fortification based on demonstrated need, proven effectiveness, safety, and multiple health benefits.


With some modifications, this document could be utilized in other countries considering fortification of flour or other staple products with folic acid.

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