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Welsh and Scottish health ministers call for folic acid in flour

From BBC - December 1, 2017

The Welsh and Scottish health ministers want Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to make it compulsory for UK suppliers of flour to fortify it with folic acid.

In a joint letter, they argue this will help reduce neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies.

Figures from Food Standards Scotland show roughly four out of five women of childbearing age in the two nations are deficient in the key nutrient.

The US and 85 other countries already have a policy in place.

Scotland's Health Minister, Aileen Campbell, and her Welsh counterpart, Vaughan Gething, wrote: "Both our governments have long called for further action in this area at a UK level.

"There remains a compelling case for action across the UK to reduce neural tube defects incidence, particularly in the most socio-economically deprived areas."

Good sources of folic acid:

Source: British Dietetic Association

It came after an independent Scottish review found it would not be cost-effective or practical to implement that change in Scotland alone.

The Scottish government had considered making the change last year.

'Strong evidence base'

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