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Challenges in translating scientific evidence into mandatory food fortification policy: an antipodean case study of the folate- neural tube defect relationship

Lawrence, Mark 2005, Challenges in translating scientific evidence into mandatory food fortification policy: an antipodean case study of the folate- neural tube defect relationship, Public health nutrition, vol. 8, no. 8, pp. 1235-1241.

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Title Challenges in translating scientific evidence into mandatory food fortification policy: an antipodean case study of the folate- neural tube defect relationship
Author(s) Lawrence, Mark
Journal name Public health nutrition
Volume number 8
Issue number 8
Start page 1235
End page 1241
Total pages 7
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Wallingford, England
Publication date 2005-12
ISSN 1368-9800
1475-2727
Keyword(s) food fortification
folate
evidence
food regulation
nutrition policy
Summary Objective: To identify challenges in translating scientific evidence of a  nutrient and health relationship into mandatory food fortification policy.
Design: A case study approach was used in which available evidence  associated with the folate–neural tube defect relationship was reviewed against the Australia New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council's Policy Guideline for mandatory food fortification. Results: Three particular challenges were identified. The first is knowing when and how to act in the face of scientific uncertainty. The second is knowing how to address the special needs of at-risk individuals without compromising the health and safety of the population as a whole. The third is to ensure that a policy is sufficiently monitored and evaluated. Conclusions: Despite the availability of compelling evidence of a relationship between a particular nutrient and a health outcome, a definitive policy response may not be apparent.  Judgement and interpretation inevitably play significant roles in influencing whether and how authorities translate scientific evidence into mandatory food fortification policy. In relation to the case study, it would be prudent to undertake a risk–benefit analysis of policy alternatives and to implement nutrition education activities to promote folic acid supplement use among the target group. Should mandatory folate fortification be implemented,  comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of this policy will be essential to know that it is implemented as planned and does more good than harm. In relation to mandatory food fortification policy-making around the world,  ongoing national nutrition surveys are required to complement national policy guidelines.
Language eng
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, The Author
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003071

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.