I welcomed the UK Government’s plan to introduce mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.

Folic Acid is recommended by NICE as a supplement to be taken by women prior to and during pregnancy, with clinical evidence demonstrating that Folic Acid helps prevent the incidence of life threatening and seriously debilitating Neural Tube Defects, including Spina Bifida. Over 80 countries across the world, including the USA and Canada, have already acted on this evidence to introduce folic acid into all flour products. Evidence suggests that if we had fortified flour products with folic acid in the 1990s, as many as 3,000 lives of children born with preventable neural tube defects might have been saved.

It’s great news that the Government has finally taken the decision to move towards mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid. This is something that the Welsh Government, the British Medical Association and the charity Shine have been calling for for some time, and I pay tribute to campaigners like my constituents the Walbyoff family, whose daughter Sara lives with Spina Bifida, for their determined efforts to keep this issue high on the political agenda. The fortification of flour with folic acid – which the Government’s new consultation recommends –  would be a transformative public health measure. This has now moved a step closer to becoming a reality.”

You can contribute to the UK Government’s consultation on adding folic acid to flour here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/adding-folic-acid-to-flour

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