Food Fortification & The Perception of The General Public: The Fight Against Hidden Hunger Through Integrated Strategies
During the First and Second World War, food fortification or enrichment were a common tool to support preventing micronutrient deficiency within the population. Many European countries introduced mandatory food fortification to enhance the intake of Vitamin A, D, B-groups but also Calcium, Iodine and Iron as deficiencies in these micronutrients lead to critical health & economic consequences. This form of malnutrition is the main driver of disability and death. Approximately around 2 billion people worldwide are at risk of iron deficiency alone. Although overconsumption where calorie intakes exceed the energy expenditure is increasing worldwide, the intakes of some micronutrients are reported to fall below recommendations. Therefore, different tools such as food fortification of staple food as the main strategy or supplementation, have been practised in developed and developing countries for several decades. Best examples are iodised salt and enriched flours and breads with niacin and iron, initiated to reduce the prevalence of nutrient deficiency-related diseases. Food fortification does not replace of the need for dietary diversity. However, with the Farm to Fork Strategy at heart of the European Green Deal and the New EU-Africa Strategy aiming to ensure food security, including nutrition security and the shift towards healthy sustainable diets, food fortification should gain more awareness and understanding by the general public to tackle nutrient malnutrition.
Therefore, the SME Connect Working Group on Agriculture, Food & Consumer will bring together decision-makers, academics, members of the food industry and other experts in this field to discuss the benefits and the drawbacks of food fortification as well as the complex environment of the underlying regulations.
Welcome & OpeningMARLENE MORTLER MEP
AGRI Committee; Vice-Chair Delegation for Relations with South Africa;
DEVE Committee Shadow Rapporteur on “a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system”;
AGRI Committee Shadow Rapporteur on “a new EU-Africa Strategy – a partnership for sustainable and inclusive development”;
Chair of SME Connect Agriculture, Food & Consumer Working Group
Nutrition Policy Officer, DG INTPA, European CommissionChristophe Guyondet
Team Leader 2FAS project – Food Fortification Advisory Services, Landell Mills
DEBATE PARTNERSUduak Igbeka
Africa Manager, SUN Business Network; Member of SME Connect Health & Nutrition Working GroupRONALD AFIDRA
Africa Network Coordinator, Food Fortification InitiativeLEIGH GUNKEL- KEULER
Vice Chair of the Health Products Association (HPA) of South AfricaDR. MANESHREE JUGMOHAN- NAIDU
Director Agricultural Biotechnology, Department of Science and Innovation, Republic of South Africa
Closing RemarksHON. JEREMY LISSOUBA
Member of Parliament for the Republic of Congo;
SME Connect Board Member
ModerationDR. HORST HEITZ
SME Connect Steering Committee ChairStefanie Offe
Co- Moderation, Health & Nutrition Policy Officer, SME Connect
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