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close this bookFood and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 19, Number 2, 1998 (UNU, 1998, 100 pages)
close this folderKey economic issues
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentAbstract
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWhat role should industry and government play?
View the documentCompulsory or voluntary fortification?
View the documentWhat are the economic benefits and costs of food fortification?
View the documentCurrent experience with cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis
View the documentReferences

Introduction

The perspective taken for this paper is that of an economist called in to work with a country on the design and execution of a micronutrient-fortification programme. In handling this, there are a range of important topics to address that relate to the role government should play, the question of compulsory or voluntary fortification, and the nature of the economic costs and benefits of food fortification. Emphasis will be placed on knowledge about the costs and benefits of fortification. As background, it is surprising how little economic analysis has been conducted. Despite the importance of micronutrient deficiencies in terms of prevalence and impact, there has been surprisingly little systematic research undertaken by economists.

Beginning in the 1970s, there have been several small case studies that have looked at the costs and/or benefits of fortification efforts. In the 1980s there was one large effort by the World Bank and another smaller case study, but now there is an emerging effort to begin to collect cost data in a systematic manner.