Folic Acid: the public view With mandatory folic acid fortification in bread or flour hitting the media headlines, Hayley Brown went out on the street to gauge consumer reaction

22 June, 2007
Page 16 
Ami Patel
I've never even heard of folic acid. Therefore, I wouldn't think twice about taking a supplement and had no idea that there were plans to put it into bread or flour.I knew that calcium is put into bread and that helps people's health, so maybe adding folic acid will be a good thing.If it helps to prevent babies from being born with diseases then it must be good, although it seems a bit pointless for men to eat it.But I must say that I think that the public has the right to be made aware of such changes and so, if they do put folic acid into bread or flour, then they need to make a bigger effort to tell us all.Aaron WalkerI didn't know that the government was considering mandatory fortification, but I knew that some bakers were already putting folic acid in voluntarily.The worrying thing is that people may end up taking too much folic acid, especially if they're already taking supplements. They really need to do something drastic to educate the public.I often look on the back of packs at the ingredients lists and weigh up salt and fat content in bread and cakes, so I believe that folic acid must be stated on the label. This is the only way that fortification can work, particularly considering there are risk groups involved.Fortification worked for calcium and niacin, so it may work for folic acid.Peter SavageI'm actually on a diet so I've stopped eating bread and cakes altogether. When I did eat bread, a few months ago, I only ate brown bread, I didn't touch white at all. If I was a woman, therefore, folic acid would not get into my system and it would also have to be put into brown bread or flour to have an effect.Because I am a man, it seems pointless that men will have to eat folic acid too. Ha ha! I don't think that I'll be giving birth anytime soon.Lillian Gad-AllaI eat dark Easten European breads, so will folic acid be put into these too?I think that if folic acid is put into bakery products then it is extremely important to give consumers a choice. To do this, information must be provided to the public so that people can make an informed choice.Tina EllisI don't think about ingredients in my bread or cakes very much. I don't even know what folic acid is.I guess if it is put into bakery products, then we will find out the proof of its success in time. Until then, it might just be a dangerous experiment.



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