INDEPENDENT NEWS

Is The Minister Of Health Launching A Time Bomb?

Published: Fri 31 Aug 2001 11:16 AM
“Minister of Health, Annette King’s trumpeting of her achievement on the issue of fortifying all flour with folate, in the House this afternoon, is yet another instance of this Government’s failure to examine all the evidence before rushing ahead with change,” says Graham Capill, Leader of Christian Heritage.
“To subject everyone in the country, apart from those in the fortunate position to mill their own flour, to consuming sizeable doses of synthetic vitamins unnecessarily smacks of State interference gone mad.
“While not denying the benefit of folate to the very small number of women of child-bearing age who may not be getting a sufficient amount from natural sources, this initiative is surely out of all proportion to the problem.
“Not only so,” says Mr Capill, “but a recent Australian study showed that fortifying bread and cereals may be dangerous to the elderly.”
“The study of almost 3,000 people in NSW found,” he said, “that up to 25% of older people could be pushed over the ‘tolerable’ upper safety limit of folate. The adverse health impact could be significant and especially if there is a simultaneous vitamin B12 deficiency. It is not well understood but neurological problems, memory loss and dementia could occur.
“Christian Heritage makes a plea to the Minister to seek further unbiased advice before launching a potential time bomb for those in the third age,” Mr Capill concluded.
END

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