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April 24, 1972

Iron "Undercontamination"?

JAMA. 1972;220(4):581. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200040093020

A controversy has developed over a proposal by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to increase the amount of assimilable iron added to flour and bread for purposes of nutritional enrichment.

Thoughtful attention by the FDA has gone into this measure to offset what appears to be a significant degree of iron deficiency in this country. The FDA-proposed regulation would require fortification of wheat flour with 40 mg of iron per pound. This is 23.5 mg more than the maximum level now permitted. Enriched bread, buns, and rolls would require 25 mg/lb instead of 8 to 12.5 mg.

In view of the medical profession's responsibility for the public health, it is surprising that so few physicians have written to the FDA expressing substantive arguments either for or against the ruling. After careful consideration, the Council on Foods and Nutrition has gone on record firmly in support of the proposed fortification