Having reviewed recent data, the UK’s SACN Working Group on the health implications of folic acid fortification in relation to colorectal cancer risk determined that the new evidence “did not provide a substantial basis” for changing SACN’s original recommendation for mandatory fortification in the UK (see Toxicology and Regulatory News 2007, 46(1), 8). The recommendation has been revised, however, to include precautionary advice on the consumption of supplements containing folic acid. [UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Summary. Folic acid and colorectal cancer risk: review of recommendation for mandatory folic acid fortification. 19 October 2009. Accessible at http://www.sacn.gov.uk/pdfs/summary_of_sacn_report_to_cmo_19_october_2009.pdf on the internet.] {175157}

Meanwhile, another expert group reviewing the risks/benefits of folic acid fortification, EFSA‘s Scientific Cooperation (ESCO) Working Group, has concluded that currently there are insufficient data to allow a comprehensive quantitative risk assessment of folic acid and cancer. The scientists deemed that there was a need for further animal and human studies and for longer term follow-up of cancer risk in trials of folic acid supplementation, which should also take into account folate intake from the diet. [ESCO report prepared by the EFSA Scientific Cooperation Working Group on analysis of risks and benefits of fortification of food with folic acid. Issued on 6 October 2009. Accessible at on the website of the European Food Safety Authority.] {183490}

The above item was taken from the December 2009 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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