On 11 January IF had a successful meeting with the Irish MEP, Mrs. Avril Doyle. The latter is happy to support IF’s call for mandatory flour fortification, but IF will need to consider several things.
First of all, IF will probably need to agree to a ‘sunset clause’, i.e. a clause saying that the amendment making folic acid mandatory will be reviewed by the EP in five years time, pending research to monitor and evaluate the efficacy of folic acid. Following from this, IF will need to pull together a review of the research programme on public health and submit a pre-proposal for a five-year funding programme for EU wide research on folic acid. Finally, Mrs. Doyle highly recommended that IF meets with John Bowis, an English MEP. In fact, IF already had a meeting scheduled with him, which was postponed because he was ill. Mr. Bowis is the coordinator of the report on the addition of vitamins and minerals to foods and thus holds a great deal of sway with the Committee. Further, he would be in a position to call for an EPP group amendment to the resolution, which means that all 37 MEPs would have to sign up to state their support for this amendment.
More meetings with English, Irish and Italian MEPs will follow in the next weeks.