Proposed law in CA regarding corn tortillas

Gustavo Arellano says he can taste the difference

Is fluoride in the water used in making corn tortillas? Should it be, to prevent dental caries in maternal, fetal and children? What other additives shall the government require the public to ingest?

1 Like

I read the LA Times article by Gustavo Arellano. If he says he can taste the difference, I can’t argue. But the articles goes on to talk about the health benefits, and no one (tortilla maker, the author) denied those were real. The science is there and it’s backed by a Latino MD/legislator, and the Mexican government has the same requirements.

I think some are angling for an exemption for the traditional method (no folic acid). One thing is the legislation only requires mass produced tortillas to have folic acid. Seems like restaurants can go the in-house handmade method and skip the folic acid. Yes an added expense but some places already make them in-house. Perhaps there could be an artisan product exemption, how that would work I have no idea.

In any case, I’ve read Gustavo Arellano since he was at the OC Weekly. I agree with much of what he’s written and observed. There’s a reason why the LA Times hired him. However to call it “cultural imperialism” is a bit of stretch if the Mexican government requires the same. But I get it, he’s trying to preserve the traditional method.


if stuff can be labeled “Gluten Free”
why can’t stuff be labeled
“Spiked with folic acid”

we’ve got “No MSG” on thousands of products
we’ve got “Gluten Free” labels on bottled water . . .
my fav is the label on child’s clothing:
“Remove Child Before Washing”

1 Like

Thanks for the additional info on this. Generally I’m in favor of relatively simple steps that are in the interest of public health.


If I ever have grandkids, I’m totally looking for “remove child before washing” labels and then resewing them onto the outside of the shirt. Love it.

1 Like

I respect this position, and think instead - why not simply encourage (subsidize) some makers to add folate (assuming it doesn’t screw up taste/texture/etc.)? Then encourage people to buy it (PSA campaigns, etc.).

Given how much more damaging spina bifida and other neural tube defects are, vs cavities. The neural tube defect is more on par with the iodine insufficiency across the US Midwest in the (?) early 20th century and thyroid issues/goiter rates were higher than 50% in some places (before iodizing of salt was encouraged).

IIRC (what I read, I mean - wasn’t alive at the time) there were some makers willing to iodize salt and there was a public campaign to encourage its use, rather than fiat force that only iodized salt would be available.

Overall I don’t like individual states forcing manufacturers to make a “special” version of foodstuffs or meds/med packaging, for sales into that state. That’s what the FDA is supposed to be doing. It just ends up adding costs for the consumer in the end when makers have to make a version A-B-C-D for various states.