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The missing ingredient: The heartbreaking legacy of our folic acid debate

Ten years ago New Zealand was poised to fortify all bread with folic acid in a joint move with Australia hailed as "a triumph for humanity and common sense".

Australia went ahead and rates of birth defects dropped, sparing families the devastation of losing a child and preventing other kids from serious disability.

But New Zealand froze. The move was put on hold after the national mood was swung in part by an influential lobby group, which one Government minister today says has the lives of a large number of children on its conscience.

Up to 171 pregnancies affected by