Introduction

New Zealanders for Health Research (NZHR) was established in November 2015 to bring about increased investment in health research from government, industry and philanthropy. We have a commitment to ensuring that the results of health research are translated into policy and practice. As part of our aim to bring about a society which is well informed about health and medical research in New Zealand we’ve specifically asked New Zealanders about their beliefs about the safety and effectiveness of fortifying flour with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, and believe that our findings are relevant to the MPI consultation process.

NZHR’s submission is that fortification of flour with folic acid should be supported because:

• It is unequivocally supported by the results of health research which has been undertaken both internationally and in New Zealand

• It will have a significant impact on the incidence and prevalence of neural tube defects, including spina bifida, resulting in improved population health outcomes; a lowering of the burden of disease on society, families and individuals; and reduced health care costs

• It will be challenging to rely on people voluntarily opting to proactively and consistently include folic acid in their diets at appropriate and effective doses

Click here to read the full submission