N.Y.S.E. closing bell part of foundation media effort

by Josh Sosland
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NEW YORK — In celebration of Folic Acid Awareness Week, representatives of the Grain Foods Foundation and the March of Dimes were in New York Jan. 10 to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The organizations also were celebrating the tenth anniversary since fortification of enriched grains with folic acid became mandatory.

Judi Adams, G.F.F. president, said the N.Y.S.E. event was covered live on CNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg.

"This event is primarily to attract the attention of the trade media," she said. "It is not consumer oriented. We want the trade to know that grain foods are alive and well."

Reaching out to consumers, the foundation launched its Ten Years of Saving Babies campaign Jan. 9 with the unveiling of the new Folic Acid for a Healthy Pregnancy seal developed by the G.F.F. in partnership with the March of Dimes.

The seal was launched in a media tour led by Dr. Judith Reichman, a foundation spokesperson who is a leading women’s health expert and contributor to the Today Show. The foundation pre-booked 24 radio and television interviews across the country for the media tour, including interviews in major media markets such as Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Miami, Denver, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Sacramento and Salt Lake City.

Also beginning Jan. 9, G.F.F. advisory board member Sylvia Melendez-Klinger was in Miami as the first leg of a Hispanic media tour. Ms. Melendez-Klinger is founder of Hispanic Food Communications, a food communications and culinary consulting company. She appeared on Univision’s Despierta America Jan. 8 to discuss "a healthy pre-pregnancy diet," including enriched white bread. The foundation said Despierta America, a national morning program, has 2 million viewers each day. During the broadcast, Ms. Melendez-Klinger highlighted the new folic acid seal.

Since folic acid fortification began 10 years ago, neural tube birth defects have declined significantly. The new seal will be available exclusively to Grain Foods Foundation members in 2008. Afterward, other products such as spinach and orange juice that are good sources of folic acid also may carry the symbol.

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