WHO to accelerate efforts on food micronutrient fortification
The delegates of the World Health Organisation approved a resolution on accelerating efforts to prevent micronutrient deficiencies through safe and effective food fortification. This was the agreement at the Seventy-sixth World health Assembly.
Deficiencies in vitamin and mineral status, particularly of folate, iron, vitamin A, and zinc, affect 50% of all preschool aged children and 67% of all women of reproductive age worldwide. Micronutrient deficiencies can have serious consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
Large scale food fortification is part of the solution. By adding essential vitamins and minerals to staple foods and condiments, such as wheat and maize flours, rice, cooking oil and salt in accordance with national consumption patterns and deficiencies, countries can correct and further prevent a demonstrated micronutrient deficiency.
The resolution urges Member States to develop policies on food fortification with micronutrients and/or supplementation, and to consider ways of strengthening financing and monitoring mechanisms. The resolution was agreed under the umbrella of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) report.