Bakery firms in New Zealand will have to include iodised salt in bread in a government bid to combat the country’s growing iodine deficiency.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand said the new regulation will come into place over the next 18 months. Organic products and unleavened bread – such as pita and tortilla – is exempt.
“For some years, the amount of iodine people are consuming has been dropping,” said Jenny Reid of New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA).
“Iodine levels that are too low irreversibly impair the development of intelligence in children, beginning in the womb and continuing through childhood. Low iodine levels in adults are also a concern, with severe cases leading to goitre.”
Bread manufacturers have until September next year to comply with the new regulation to allow time to make the required changes to manufacturing and labelling.
The lead-in time will also give the salt industry time to increase the production of iodised salt.