Protecting Legal Rights when Things Go Wrong: Legal Recourse if Mandatory Fortification of a Food Were To Harm Human Health

Joe Lederman


Food laws can encompass considerations that extend beyond food safety. The recent food standard mandating the fortification of flour with folic acid in Australia illustrates the legal problems and legal risks when governments
introduce food standards that aim to medicinalise the population through the food supply despite a lack of scientific consensus. Legal analysis of the process by which the folic acid fortification was introduced into flour in Australia demonstrates legal inadequacies, administrative and policy
failures, as well as flaws in safety assumptions. An analysis of the restrictions on legal rights and remedies for any adversely affected consumers seeking legal redress, and the existence of statutory immunities for governments, demonstrates a need for legal reform and changes in policy development processes.

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