AAC Conference on Food Fortification
“Conference on Micronutrient Deficiencies and Food Fortification in Israel”
“Multivitamin and mineral food fortification and supplements are important in modern public health. Current standards for food fortification are safe, cost effective preventive health measures for the general population. Israel has been slow to adopt food fortification, although low fat milk and margarine have by law been fortified with vitamin A and D for many decades. Infant supplements of vitamin A and D and iron are routine for many years. Since 1996 the Ministry of Health (MOH) appointed three expert committees all of which recommended mandatory fortification of salt with iodine, cows’ milk with vitamin D, and flour with iron, vitamin B complex and folic acid. This policy we called “the Canadian model”.
A conference at Ashkelon Academic College, co-sponsored with the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Israel Association of Public Health Physicians was held on 7 November 2019 to discuss Micronutrient Deficiencies in Israel and Food Fortification. Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, Director of the Public Health Service, and Prof. Ronit Endevelt, Director of Nutrition Department, MOH presented a new food fortification policy commitment of the Ministry. Guest keynote speaker Prof. Omar Dary presented an international overview of food fortification. Israeli presenters covered many topics on deficiencies in folic acid, vitamin D, iodine, iron, magnesium, and hospitalizations for rickets, all vital issues for human health in pregnancy and all ages. The MOH presented policies being adopted to mandate fortification of milk, salt and flour.
The conference was attended by over 350 health professionals from across the country. A summary panel strongly supported mandatory fortification. This conference marked a big step forward in nutritional security policies for reducing inequalities in the Israeli population. We recommend similar conferences in all European countries.
Zohar Mor MD MPH, BA Program in Public Health,
Niva Shapira PhD, BSc Program in Nutrition,
Ted Tulchinsky MD MPH, School of Health Professions”
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